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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giving thanks (these days)

What a week, huh? It feels like it’s been months of struggle already but it’s only been 11 days. I spent much of last week driving across Montana, attending the women’s march, hosting a youth event, recruiting summer staff at three different colleges and getting on the ski hill as much as possible between all that. 

I’m grateful for the brilliant blue sky, reminding me that the light always returns, 

For incredible sunrises & reminders of hope, 

For new views, sore legs & hard working lungs, 

For road trips, the wild Montana skies & comfortable silence, 

For partners in the resistance (just 5 of the 10,000 in Montana alone!)

For laughter in ridiculous situations, 

and all the miles we travel together. 

In the midst of all the hurt, anger and confusion I felt at the news last week, I was reminded over and over to be joyful. Joy is resistance. Joy is fighting. Joy is hope. For me, joy is playing cribbage & laughing together after a long day. It’s trying every free sample in Costco. It’s hugging friends all over the state. It’s dancing to a terrible rapper at a dive bar. It’s singing to the sunset on the way home. 

Fight for joy. Be brave. Love y’all. 

giving thanks (these days) 

This month has felt at once like a deep exhale and an emotional roller coaster. I am so thankful for all the friends I’ve hugged these past few weeks and for the entirely unique beauty of Montana in autumn but my heart hurts for our country as we navigate this difficult time. It’s worth repeating that our hope has to be in community, rather than on one leader. We must work for local change, be good neighbors & love those around us, as well as being engaged nations citizens. Please, I implore you: vote. Do your research and VOTE- for the president, for local leaders, for the ballot initiatives in your state. What a privilege we have- use it. 

Lately I have been grateful for the moody days of autumn, 


For tiny clubs and loud music and good friends, 


For how the light looks in the late afternoon & for pit stops on my trail runs, 


For dear friends, near & far, 


And for daily joys. 


What are you grateful for today? 

giving thanks (these days)

April and May have spun past me too quickly and summer is truly just around the corner. Leadership staff arrive next week & then it’s full speed ahead until August. Please send some good vibes our way as we prepare for a summer of hard work and overwhelming joy.

Lately I’ve been thankful for beauty around every turn,

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for having a chance to host my parents for the week (so many adventures!),

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and for the still times between busy days when I can walk slowly through this place and be grateful.

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Wishing a beautiful May to you all- what are you thankful for today?

 

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! 

catching up

winter has been a season of slowness interjected with bursts of  activity, long evenings playing cards and early mornings on the ski hill. There is a sense of excitement around camp as we prepare for summer, writing programming guidelines and recruiting staff. 

   
    
   
I spend as much time as I can out in the winter light & constantly changing snow, enjoying the gifts of this season. What are you grateful for today?