24 December 2021

Small Facts - Grant Creek, Missoula, Montana

Beside the grand history of the glaciers and their own, the mountain streams sing the history of every avalanche or earthquake and of snow, all easily recognized by the human ear, and every word evoked by the falling leaf and drinking deer, beside a thousand other facts so small and spoken by the stream in so low a voice the human ear cannot hear them. “ — John Muir (1838-914, Mountain Thoughts

21 December 2021

Snow-capped Clarity - Missoula, Montana

“It is a fault to wish to be understood before we have made ourselves clear to ourselves.”
 Simone Weil (1909-1943)

 (Thank you,  Tim Ferriss for this hmmmm-provoking gem.)

28 November 2021

Into The Gap - Jocko Falls, near Arlee, Montana

“There's this gap, Jack. This opening between the story it is and the story I had wanted it to be - that's where the pain is, and that's where God came in and where I now hope transformation can happen.”

“For too long we avoided that gap, didn’t we?”

“Yes. I turned way from it with every preoccupation known to man. But no more.“

Jack donned his tattered grey fisherman’s hat… “Whenever you’d like to talk about it, you know, our friendship is big enough even for the sorrow.”


—Patti Callahan in Becoming Mrs. Lewis (the audiobook is quite lovely!)

17 November 2021

Sunlight Falling - Rattlesnake Creek, Missoula, Montana

“The second day in Oxford arrived, luminescent, the honey hues of sunlight falling from the leaves to settle on the grass like spilled paint. The air was as clear as glass and soft as cotton.”  - from Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Callahan, Chapter 12 

12 November 2021

Full-Fed - Big Hole River, Near Wisdom, Montana

 ….as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river...this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again. All as a-shake and a-shiver—glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. “  -Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932)The Wind in the Willows
(Thanks again to Sissie 3 for sharing meander views!)

03 November 2021

Autumn Ice - Flathead River, Near Kalispell, Montana

A river is the most human and companionable of all inanimate things. It has a life, a character, a voice of its own, and is as full of good fellowship as a sugar-maple is of sap. It can talk in various tones, loud or low, and of many subjects grave and gay . . . For real company and friendship, there is nothing outside of the animal kingdom that is comparable to a river. “ — Henry van Dyke (1852-1933), Little Rivers: A Book of Essays in Profitable Idleness
(Many thanks to Sissie #3 for sharing this recent ramble pic!)

01 November 2021

Tamarack Display - Near St. Ignatius,, Montana

THE WISHES on this child’s mouth
Came like snow on marsh cranberries;
The tamarack kept something for her;
The wind is ready to help her shoes.….”
- from Helga by Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

17 October 2021

Harvest Path - Near Park City, Montana

A quiet presence over takes me, and my pulse slows. My hands relax, and my palms open spontaneously as I am reduced to blessed clarity. I feel subtle yearning for adventure, similar to the way I felt last fall. Haven't I been counting on seeing new paths? Don't they abound everywhere, out here?”

-Joan Anderson, in A Year By The Sea, p.97

05 October 2021

Light To See - Heron, Montana

 There is enough light for those who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition." 
- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) from Pascal's Pensées, end of section 430

03 October 2021

Harvest Stack - Near Helena, Montana

Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks rise
Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour

02 October 2021

Opening To Autumn - Cabinet Mountains, Heron, Montana

Believe. No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.” 
-Helen Keller (1880-1968) 

27 September 2021

Shine Through - Blue Creek Lodge, Heron, Montana

“I’ve always thought of her the way I think of a precious gem: The beauty isn’t in the jewel itself but in the way the light shines through it.”  -from This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

26 September 2021

Rushing Stream - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.”
- George Eliot (1819-1880) from Janet’s Repentance, chapter 5, in collection Scenes Of Clerical Life, free at this Gutenberg Project link

19 September 2021

Mossy - Greenough Park, MIssoula, Montana

We are all passengers on this little mossy ship, this delicate dory sailing round the sun that humans call the earth. Joy, shipmates, joy. “ — Edward Abbey (1927-1989)The Hidden Canyon — A River Journey)

06 September 2021

Flathead Lake Kayaking - Big Arm, Montana

Pre-1894 start of Labour Day (Canada and USA):Supervision was harsh and punishments were handed out to those who talked or sang as they worked.” -Investopedia Term Of The Day

Well, I would have been in constant trouble on the singing charge, for sure! Feeling fortunate to work in present-day North America, for this and so many other reasons.
Wherever you are, hoping you are safe and finding beauty and gratitude somehow.

05 September 2021

Experience Calm - Big Arm, Flathead Lake, Montana

It has become my way to dispense with incessant seeking in favor of stumbling upon answers. In the words of Picasso, "I find, I do not seek.” No longer desperate to know every outcome these days I tend to wait and see, a far more satisfying way of being that lacks specificity and instead favors experience over analysis.”

-Joan Anderson, in A Year By The Sea, p. 163-164

01 September 2021

Of Weeds & Wildness - Big Arm State Park, Flathead Lake, Montana

 “...What would the world be, once bereft
  • Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
  • O let them be left, wildness and wet;
  • Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.”   
  • Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), from Inversnaid

25 August 2021

Offering - Sunset, East Missoula, Montana

“… The writer and the worshipper both draw from one source, the source where sound becomes melody, and melody turns into language, which becomes offering. Both are as open as an open wound. Both live tense and privileged moments. If one may assume that man could not live without literature, which is not so sure, one may equally affirm that neither could he survive without prayer.
- Elie Wiesel (1928-2016), in 2003 interview with Krista Tippett - you can read / listen here

22 August 2021

Bridger Mountain Peaks - Near Livingston, Montana

In God's wildness lies the hope of the world -- the great fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness.” 
-- John Muir (1838-1914)

17 August 2021

Wonder More - Ladybug - Big Arm, Flathead Lake, Montana

“Here, where much more is hidden than apparent, I am reminded that a companion to mystery is peace; that knowing less and wondering more offers expectancy.

-Joan Anderson, in A Year By The Sea, p. 163

21 July 2021

Genuine Ladybug - Flathead Lake, Big Arm, Montana

“ “But I no longer want to edit my behavior, twisting myself up like a pretzel.“ 

“You won't ,” she assured me. "Now that you've tasted the other, you won't go backwards. It'll be better than ever, you'll see. Just let whatever comes flow through you and then away.  

Everyone is after the same thing, y'know. It's called intimacy. The only way to experience it is to be yourself.” “

-Joan Anderson, in A Year By The Sea, p.138

16 July 2021

Sunrise Reflection - Big Arm, Flathead Lake, Montana

Big thanks to early rising Sissie #3 for this glorious shot - a purrrfect pairing to a quote I’d been saving for just such a day!

“Why do men lie prone in their beds,” she murmured, “and the great glory of God washin’ the hills with holy fire?”

- From the 1953 short story “She Went By Gently” by Paul Vincent Carroll (1900-1968)

15 July 2021

Smoky Sunrise Bloom - Big Arm, Montana

But I believe if you tell a story, it's like sending a nightingale into the air with the hope that its song will never be forgotten .”

-from This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger, page 443

14 July 2021

Not To Worry - Big Arm, Montana

Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”

05 July 2021

Glorious Display - Sunrise, Corvallis, Montana

Awakened by 
 the stirring of the day
Dawn calls to my 
 heart, or so I thought 
Overwhelmed by
  splendor, Your glory on display
I join with all 
 creation singing 
our God‘s 
- 5 July 2021 Pat Richards.  
    (Thanks for the early-bird share, sis!)

30 June 2021

On Honest Knowledge -Missoula, Montana

It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.” 
Thomas Sowell (b. June 30, 1930)

28 June 2021

Wild Rose Bloom - Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge, Stevensville, Montana

“In every good tale there is a seed of truth, and from that seed a lovely story grows. Some of what I've told you is true and some ... well , let's just call it the bloom on the rosebush.”

-from This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger, page 444

24 June 2021

Open To Imagine - Bitterroot Valley, Corvallis, Montana

“Yet are these things more difficult to accept than that all of existence came out of a single, random moment when cosmic gases exploded? Our eyes perceive so dimly, and our brains are so easily confused. Far better, I believe, to be like children and open ourselves to every beautiful possibility, for there is nothing our hearts can imagine that is not so .”

-from This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger, page 444

(Big thanks to Sissie #3 for this glorious walking scenery shot!)

19 June 2021

Going Places - East Missoula, Montana

“Montana, you go fifty-five you never get anywhere. When you do get someplace, it is North Dakota.”

-from The Tumbler, A Gabriel Du Pré Mystery by Peter Bowen (1945-2020), page 4

17 June 2021

Nice Montana Evening - Lee Metcalf Refuge, Near Florence, Montana

(Yes, dear Reader, I use this quite a few years back - but it’s apt and  recycle- friendly!)
“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” 
― Kurt Vonnegutfrom A Man Without a Country

14 June 2021

07 June 2021

01 June 2021

Balanced Camping - Big Arm, Montana

The rightness of grasses not mowed to conformity, shrubs and willows allowed to spread within mostly natural inclination ...there’s something about the ...mmmm...I hate to say ‘balance’ but maybe more at ‘compromise’ of this cheek-to-jowl coexistence between accessible wildness and the minimal human constraints in the best kind of campground.

It feeds something in me. Perhaps it mirrors my own inner seeking - like water seeks its level - to be simultaneously unfettered yet at rest within this life season’s constraints. 

18 May 2021

Springing Hope - Missoula, Montana

Just when I’d given up on any chance of seed starts in my windowsill, hope springs anew! (I’d ‘bean’ hoping - hah!) This humble garden bean reminds us to persevere, even when 2 weeks of dutiful watering seems a bust. In the broader sphere (no broad bean puns, you garden people!), we often are not privileged to see in this life the deep work begun in other’s heart-soil by our seemingly simple daily kindnesses. Just keep planting or watering or whatever you’re supposed to be doing, and trust God to honour your faithfulness to painting in your little part of the big picture.

08 May 2021

Spring Greens - Near St. Regis, Montana

Such gorgeous greeny greens all along today’s drive route to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho ! I don’t know how I’ve never seen this before, but the new needles on tamarack pines (that turn vibrant yellow and lose their needles in fall) spring out in electric bright green. Grateful to be out under the big sky on such a zesty day!

05 May 2021

World of Wonder - Arlee, Montana

Two complementary thoughts to ponder from Kevin Kelly’s 99 Additional  Bits Of Unsolicited Advice
—--“That thing that made you weird as a kid could make you great as an adult - if you don’t lose it.”
—--“When a child asks an endless string of “why?” questions, the smartest reply is, “I don’t know, what do you think?” “

30 April 2021

Breaking Through - Missoula, Montana

"Why are so many holy places dark places? The cross, the tomb, the stable – they are holy because even in the dark of night God is at work, breaking through the husk around our hearts and bringing life from under dead leaves." 

(Many thanks to GSOT for sharing this lovely Lewis quote in today’s devotional in YouVersion’s daily Story.)

29 April 2021

First Light - Missoula, Montana

After all the false dawns,
who is this who unerringly paints
the first rays in their true colours?
.... the trees tremble.
Is it with a kind of reckless joy
at the gentle light
lapping their leaves
like the very first turn of a tide?
Timid creatures creep out of burrows
sensing kindness
and the old crow on the cattle-shed roof
folds his wings and dreams.“

- from First Light by Richard Bauckham