shift/ change

Autumn is swelling in fury this year.

Montana is burning. My heart is overwhelmed with the tension of the natural presence of fire vs the agony of watching people lose their land, crops, livelihood, health. Thank God, we haven’t lost any more first responders this season, but I watch families anxiously wait for the snow to fall and can’t imagine what it feels like to have someone out there. ¬†Three firefighters deployed their shelters this weekend, thinking they were trapped, until the wind shifted and they walked out, unscathed.
Mother Nature is screaming, roaring, raging this season, and I have been meditating on the fact that humanity has set her up for this, in our disregard for her health. There is a direct correlation between heat and fire; the hotter the atmosphere, the higher the fire danger and the harder it is to control. We have to realize this. We have to work harder to slow and reverse the effects of human caused warming.
Last night was the first visible sunset in at least a month, as the wind shifted south. The color lingered, amplified through the smoke, for nearly half an hour, the whole ridgeline glowing ember red. I don’t know how to hold the beauty of that moment in contrast with the reasons for the beauty. So much of this season is balancing two sides, holding tension, working through it. It feels important to write about, if for no other reason than to honor the feeling.
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Autumn has brought joy, too.
The joy of watching dear ones marry those they love. The joy of cool grass under my feet during an evening stroll at home. The joy of quiet nights at camp, the shoreline to ourselves. The joy of new challenges and new responsibilities.
Camp was quiet this morning and I passed turkeys, deer, rabbits, squirrels & chipmunks as I walked to my car- all of them gathering food for winter. The squirrel caches are huge this year; I hope they’re right about the coming snow totals.
The larch will begin to lose their needles soon, but only after they blaze golden against Autumn’s sky. They have given me the gift of courage- a reminder that pieces of us have to die to be resurrected in a new season. Giving up jealousy for joy, trading discomfort with grace, embracing change instead of fighting.
Every season feels like my favorite in the Flathead, but really, I think Autumn is the real winner. Hoping for rain & looking forward to the quiet. Happy Autumn!
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early june

A consideration of how the sun looks on the water at twilight, when the days stretch their long arms toward the horizon. I imagine the sun as a child; one more minute, one more minute, stubborn at the end of the day. Sparrows carve quick circles in the heated summer air, the dark green of their backs gleaming in sunset. With each careful dive they are collecting & gathering & building their homes; they are doing their most important work.

Summer has always been a season when I feel deeply rooted in this place, with these people, building my own home, piece by piece. This act of being together is our own most important work. Welcome, summer!

settling

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. 

giving thanks (these days)

summer has slipped by in a way that always surprises me; even after 6 summers of camp . The days feel long and I am often too tired to read or write much of anything, but I am thankful for hard work and the ways that I am loved in this place. We have two weeks left with campers and some summer staff have already left to move on to the next steps in life. I am grateful for all the laughter & joy that this summer has brought, and beginning to feel sad about it ending, but comforted in the knowledge that our community will remain.

Lately I’ve been thankful for long, long hikes to places like this,

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for sun filled days on the lake, laughing and learning together,

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for visits from dear friends & the joy of sharing this place with them,

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& for daily reminders to be present, to be kind & to live freely.

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happy august to you all; what are you thankful for today?

sunset diaries

watched the sun sink below the mountains from a different part of the lake last night as I remembered Ben on his birthday & prayed that we might all be brave, hard working & authentic in his honor. 

   
 

maintain the light. 

giving thanks (these days)

Today, Montana was improbably warm & sunny for early February; the sky as blue as a summer day. I hiked 6 miles, hammocked in the sun & ended my day with guac & a beer. Happy Sunday, friends!

Lately, I have been grateful for camp songs & new friends,

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For sweet gifts from a retreat guest & my daily yoga practice,

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For long hikes & the most beautiful mountains,

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And for days warm enough for hammocks & books.

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What are you thankful for today?

cottage living

IMG_8198-0I woke up to two inches of fresh snow and fog rising off the lake, blending with the mountains and reflecting the morning sun. This weekend was busy and tiring but entirely joy filled. Having a group of kids at camp always lifts my spirits, but this weekend I got to lead the retreat, rather than just be the person at meals. It felt so good to be leading games and songs, watching the kids laugh together and support each other. Spaces like camp are special, important and meaningful & I will never stop believing that.

Today is for rest, after 48 hours of shouting, singing, laughing, skiing and working. The light this morning was stunning and I thought I’d take advantage of it & take a few photos of my little house, and the pieces of it that make it my home.

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This ivy was on the brink of death when I found it outside a cabin this fall. Inside, near my huge picture window, it’s doing much better.

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Ginny bought me these two prints about two years ago, with no knowledge that I’d be moving to Montana in the future. The wood wall hanging is made from trees that grew and were harvested at Mar Lu Ridge, my forever home.

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little comforts.

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plants & mountains, always. (banner by ginny)

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Maybe one day I will make my bed every morning, but that day has not yet come.

I am anxiously awaiting warmer days, when I can eat outside on the porch in the evening, and string my hammock up under the deck. Until then, it’s not a bad spot to watch the snow fall.

giving thanks (these days)

The past few weeks have been challenging and beautiful in a million different ways, but through it all I have been reminded of all the blessings in my life. I am so grateful for the life I’ve been given.

For the way Christmas lights make everything 10x more magical,

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For blue bird days, cold fingers & sore legs,

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For reminders of those who have shaped my life,

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and for moments like this, when I am reminded to stop, notice & appreciate the ways the world supports and humbles me.

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Wishing you all a peaceful holiday season with lots of reasons to give thanks!