winter song 

Bits & pieces of this season. 

The lake is frozen the whole way across on the north shore, deer carefully making their way across in an attempt to find a small pool to drink from. Camp is covered in snow & last week the moon rose so clearly it cast shadows across the shore. I’ve been outside as much as possible, skiing on Big Mtn and Blacktail & hiking around camp. It’s warming up a tiny bit this week, maybe we’ll get above freezing for a few hours. 

Thankful for slower days, stillness, the calm of a gray day, the electric joy that comes with the sight of blue sky, sunsets over snowscapes & the clear face of the winter moon. 

giving thanks, these days

This autumn has been a whirlwind in the best and worst ways. I have been completely filled up with love through one of the most emotionally difficult months of our country’s recent history. I have had some incredibly encouraging conversations with dear friends and allies this month but still feel gutted by the knowledge that the president elect holds such deep oppressive values. I know we will keep fighting, together, but some days it feels difficult to have hope. 

In the midst of this, I’ve been so grateful for new adventures to incredible places, 

for the pure joy that comes with fresh snow, 

for the wide open spaces of the wild, 

and for all the places we call home along the way. 

Remember that you are loved, important and worthy, today and always. Practice gratitude & be brave, babes. 

early autumn in MD

I’ve been back home for a few days, vacationing and visiting friends and my family. It’s been so nice to be away from work for a little while (even if I keep checking my email #guilty). 

While the leaves are changing in Montana, the last of the wild flowers are still blooming here. We took a walk on the Antietam National Battlefield the other night and enjoyed the beautiful meadows they maintain there. I’ve walked over Antietam my whole life but never tire of the rolling hills and farm fields; it’s one of my favorite places to go when I’m home. 

giving thanks (these days)

It is hard to describe the emotions of a day here at camp, from stress to joy, from exhaustion to elation, from a centered heart to a scattered mind- each minute is different. At the end of each day,I usually sit and watch the lake for awhile, focusing on the joys of this place. 

Lately I’ve been grateful for falling asleep after seeing these views, 


and for waking up under the big sky.


For the tiny gifts that this earth produces with little help from us, 


and for the people who I get to live out this wild summer alongside. 


What are you thankful for today? Be brave, summer friends. 

space

have you ever flushed a raven from a tree? heard it’s wings beating with such force against the blue sky? they don’t do anything quietly, always announcing themselves, taking up space, urgent in their requests and warnings. i’ve been watching them, studying persistence and learning to voice my own needs with clarity. to hear my own wings beating, commanding space, announcing my place. when was the last time you heard your own heartbeat? decide what you need

and go.

thursday words

This Lenten season I’ve been trying to put my words on paper more often, and have been revisiting some old pieces of poetry to rework them and get my mind working again. This is for my parents.

elk mountain

My father burned 4 trees this season, the winter
unrelenting in its fury. The wood stove seizing any life
left from the logs, forcing heat out of bark and sap,
moisture cracking out of the crevices, echoing
inside the cast iron berth that hulks under
the mantle’s gaze.

You can smell the woodsmoke before you can see
the house. The trees funnel everything- the smoke,
the racket of spring peepers, the light at the end of day.
Sun and moon rise over the same mountain, cyclic,
like life in this hollow. Summers spent tending the earth,
winters spent burning pieces of it- the land keeping us.

early winter joy 

Tonight while I sat on the cliff,  watching the sun settle into the west, an eagle stirred and perched right above me, quietly watching the lakes surface, scanning for fish.

We’re not too different, he and I, looking for comfort in this beautiful world.

The snow is building up on the mountains, gently covering the pines. I drive up once or twice a week to walk around in wonder. Soon, it’ll be in the valley!
  
So thankful for this place, in all its seasons.

the long way home

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My life has felt a lot like this lately, darkness on both sides, but beautiful light before me every step. December has been full of grief: for the world, for friends, for the loss of someone dear to me. I have wept alone and with friends & struggled through terribly long work days but I’ve also seen some of the best in people during tough times and been gifted time to delight in the world around me.
Thankful for the highs and lows of life, and the reminder that love is bigger than all the hurt the world has to serve up.

Love to you all.

black lives matter.

My heart and my head have been spinning since Monday night’s announcement that Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the murder of Michael Brown. Unfortunately, I was not surprised by the jury’s decision. The system in America is not set up to protect people of color; inversely, it continues to oppress them by perpetuating racist policies.

I am sick with shame and anger and grief and yet I remember that I am not afraid to encounter a police officer in the street. As a white person, I will never understand the experience of a person of color in America, and yet, I know that I have to intentionally try, every day, to work for justice for all. I have to recognize my own privilege and prejudices and work to combat them and broaden my own understanding of how my whiteness impacts my perception of the world. I have to have intentional conversations with my friends and family about race and privilege. I have to pray for justice and never stop speaking out about it.

But, this is not about me. This is about a community torn apart by hatred and yet another black boy taken from this life for no reason. It’s about an entire country prioritizing one life over another, based on the color of their skin. Ferguson is a reminder of the horrifying reality of racism that is alive and well, not just in Missouri, but in the systems that govern our lives. We cannot forget Michael Brown. We cannot let the holidays derail this conversation. We cannot allow more Darren Wilsons. We have to keep fighting and organizing and shouting and praying. Engage in racial justice conversations, do not allow racist comments to slide by, encourage others to educate themselves and be aware of all the ways the system encourages oppression.

____

I heard this poem earlier this month, and it has stuck in my gut ever since.

“Once, a white girl was kidnapped & that’s the Trojan war. Later, up the block, Troy got shot & that was Tuesday. Are we not worthy of a city of ash?”

black lives matter.