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

26 April 2021

Between Winter and Summer - Missoula, Montana

“The air turned soft. The flowers rioted on the foothills and along the watercourses and clover bloomed. It was the few days between winter and the dusty summer when the earth held water for a moment, People opened the windows of their houses and let air wash through  They looked at the beds of iris and the camas lilies, up and brilliant and gone in a week. “

-from Long Son, A Gabriel Du Pré Mystery by Peter Bowen (1945-2020), page 152

24 April 2021

Cottonwood Alley - Missoula, Montana

What a week - Sunday was shorts and t-shirt sunshine, Monday saw enough snow in the Bitterroot Valley that Corvallis, MT, called a snow day and canceled school! 

Springtime in Montana reminds us that change is part of life and there are no regrets when we choose to be fully present.

17 April 2021

Spring Football Field - Missoula, Montana

I never really thought about it before, but: Where else in the world can you watch football surrounded by views like this?!  You can check out game day pics and stats here from Montana Grizzly fans, who must be among the most grateful sport enthusiasts...

11 April 2021

Morning Walk (aka Adventure) - Missoula, Montana

All of 25 degrees Fahrenheit on this brisk Missoula, Montana, morning - and there are people out running IN SHORTS!!! Guessing (since I have no desire to know from experience) that running provides a whole different personal climate (although that one girl’s legs were pret-ty bright red....).  
Call me a wuss, but for me it’s the  classic toque-gloves-scarf combo until temps are waaayyy above freezing! One less thing to distract from the same goal as when we were kids kicked outdoors to amuse ourselves - stay balanced (on whatever was available) or the (imaginary) alligators will get you!  
(Warning: Walks that turn into flights of fancy may also occur among adults!)

05 April 2021

Snow In The Hills - Missoula, Montana

Thankful today (on the incidentals side) that the  little snowflake forecast stayed up in the hills, with just rain in the valley....

04 April 2021

Biking Weather - Missoula, Montana

Beautiful Easter Day to be out under God’s great heaven...and tomorrow’s forecast on my phone app shows a little snowflake with 70% chance of snow - I kid you not!  We’ll wait and see....

30 March 2021

28 March 2021

Spring Snowcaps - Bitterroot Valley, Montana

“... it could be

weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.”
Praying by Mary Oliver (1935-2019)

21 March 2021

Musical Time - Near Helena, Montana

“Art is how we decorate space, music is how we decorate time.”  -Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)

May your “decorating” on this second spring day be inspired by the Grand Creator of all things bright and beautiful, brave and small.

12 March 2021

Almost-Spring Brings Renewal - Grant Creek, Missoula, Montana

Rivers have what man most respects and longs for in his own life—a capacity for renewal and replenishment, continual energy, creativity, cleansing.” — John Kauffman (1923-3014)A Look At Our North Atlantic Rivers

08 March 2021

Big Sky Country Waiting - Livingston, Montana

“Supposed to be no snow for two days. Hah. This country, it sat out there, breathing, waiting for the winter, like a big white cat and you the mouse.”

-from Coyote Wind, A Gabriel Du Pré Mystery by Peter Bowen (1945-2020), page 124

07 March 2021

Winter Fenceline Shadows - Missoula, Montana

“He closed the missal, looked out the window at what was left of the day. Not too far back, it was the shortest day of the year. He was some farther north here, the shadows seemed longer, the blue in them colder.”

-from Coyote Wind, A Gabriel Du Pré Mystery by Peter Bowen (1945-2020)page 135

01 March 2021

Neighbourly Encouragement- East Missoula, Montana

Spotted this neighbourly advice during a pre-church ramble out in East Missoula, Montana. An inspiring example of imagination finding limitless ways to express kindness! (And we’ll just float free of the light/moth analogy before any frying occurs...)

23 February 2021

Looking Forward - Grant Creek, Missoula, Montana

"The water you touch in a river
 is the last of that which has passed,
 and the first of that which is coming;
 thus it is with time."
- Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

22 February 2021

Tree Shadows and Winter Ornamentation - Grant Creek, Missoula, Montana

Indeed the river is a perpetual gala,
 and boasts each month a new ornament.“  -Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)Nature

(Many thanks to the folks at the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System  for repurposing and corralling  a broadly inspiring selection of quotes ...and more!)