summering

This season is the busiest part of my year, and often the most overwhelming, but with that comes great, great joy.

This morning, I’m sitting at the picnic table outside the camp office, which is my favorite spot in the summer. Music is drifting from the Art Barn next door, where Jonah is busy cleaning for the next group of campers. A family of geese are making their way up the lawn from the lake, the babies nearly 1/3 grown, their feathers darkening by the day. I can hear cooking campers in the herb garden, seeing what chive blossoms look like up close. I sent off ranch and basketball campers just after breakfast- their mornings’ spent elsewhere, exploring and playing.

A huge robin is sitting in the tree above me, scouting for a morning snack to share with her babies. The lake is swelling to full pool and the nights are staying warmer. The solstice is this week, when the sun will linger til nearly 11 o’clock. Last night, I watched the most brilliant rainbow dance between the pines in the late evening, while campers settled in for their first night.

The rhythm of camp life is in as many ways routine as it is sporadic. The bell rings each morning at 7:30. We sing, we eat, we pray. Campers come and go, staff learn a new set of names each week, the moon rises a slightly different place each day– community continues, the earth continues, joy continues.

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“you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace, the mountains & the hills before you, shall burst into song & rejoice,

and all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands, for you. ”

We sing this blessing to our campers each Friday, at the end of the session. As the summer sinks in, I pray you, too, go out with joy.

 

xx, k

last light on the swan river


I tried my best to get out to ski last night but it wasn’t in the cards so I settled on a quick walk along the “Wild Mile” of the Swan River. It’d been a long, kind of tough day so my mind was spinning a thousand miles an hour, and I felt very restless- a feeling that usually dissipates when I’m outside. I wandered down the trail for awhile, feeling anxious and unfocused when I came around a bend and saw the setting sunlight beaming across the river. I climbed up on a snow bank to get a better look and marveled at the river’s midwinter strength and beauty. As the sun set I walked further down the trail, watching the trees sparkle and sway in the breeze and finally felt some calm. 

This Lenten season I am committing to practicing gentleness and forgiveness, with myself especially. To intentional daily movement, to finishing books I’ve started reading, to screen free mornings. 

I believe in adding to our lives during this season, joining Jesus in the wilderness by challenging ourselves to be better servants and more wholehearted justice seekers. What is lent calling you to this year? 
Be brave, spring is coming. 

first sight of snow, fall 16

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I will never tire of the first snow. Montana allows me to experience this sweet phenomenon much earlier than most places in America, early September, this year! I drove up to Glacier to do a hike at a lower elevation but had to head up the road to see and feel the first signs of winter all around.

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These photos are not taken in black and white, but rather reflect the deeply moody nature of a fog covered mountain after snow. The flakes were tiny but gathering up quickly, the thermometer in my car reading 27* at the highest point in the road I could get to. I love the feeling of snow in the air- there is nothing as pure.

I’d like a solid six weeks of autumn first, but this snow is so sweet.

cheers!

april 1

My only plans for Friday night were to drive to the park, run a few miles, sit in the sun & watch the day wind down. Camp has been pretty empty this week so I’ve had a lot of time to run, hammock, clean house and enjoy the warmer days. The busy season starts very soon, so I am trying to delight in the quiet for awhile. I’m super excited for the next season, but it will be crazy. Come visit! 

   
    
 
“There is not one blade of grass, there is no one color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.” -John Calvin 

Be brave, friends. Happy April! 

last light, missoula

 The tiniest flowers are showing themselves all over the hillsides, quietly ushering in spring’s long days & golden sun.   
  

 

  
This is the season for walking slowly through the woods & embracing the quiet before summer hits us full swing. The golden hour has been especially beautiful lately; I took it in from Waterworks Hill in Missoula this weekend, in all its glory. 

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Early this morning, amidst the quiet of this place, I watched a golden eagle hunt a small coot just offshore. I watched as they danced around one another, the eagle diving toward the water while the coot paddled closer to the rocks. The tiny coot diving underneath the surface for 20 seconds at a time, evading the eagle’s talons. The eagle circling back to a tree, waiting and watching.

I’m certain that they were aware of my presence, watching from my deck not 100 yards away. Living here often feels sacred, like I am getting a chance to see and hear things not always meant for my eyes. We’ve made it to mid March and spring is slowly pushing through; the birds have come back to greet the morning, all of them screeching, as they remember what it is to sing. At dawn, the sun stretches itself out over the hillsides, and I can hear the ice cracking inside the trees as it melts. Soon, the shoots of green stirring under the cool earth will make their way to the light and the snow will only remain on the high peaks. Every turn of seasons is a holy opportunity.

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Just a few days in this gem of the interior west, full of good conversation, long runs and brews near the water. I am so grateful for all the places my eyes have seen & the people I’ve gotten to see them with. 

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This is a world filled with love & other things that have the sense not to waste time talking about everything under the sun & see how it glows with no help from us whatsoever.   
   

 
What an incredible gift, this world.