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. 

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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!

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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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. 

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. 

rocky gap days.

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When I was young, my family used to pack up the mini-van, or Suburban (as the years went on), and make our way into the mountains to Rocky Gap State Park. RGSP is beautifully set on the banks of Lake Habeeb, near Cumberland, Maryland. We packed bikes and the canoe, s’mores fixings and fleece jackets and set up camp for a few days. I have the best memories of swimming in the lake, canoeing to “secret coves”, cooking over the fire and watching star shows in the field near the site. We took friends up for time in the woods- always building forts in the woods while our parents relaxed by the fire. My father once lost our car keys in the lake when they fell out of his bathing suit pocket, so of course, we have lots of funny stories from this place of beauty as well.

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To return to a place so full of memories as an adult holds a special kind of nostalgia. I was so grateful for time apart last week- time to sleep in, to cook and eat together, to brighten my hair under the August sun, to laugh with dear friends on the shores of the lake, watching the sun sink into the distance.

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The five of us are very soon headed in very different directions, so it was a huge blessing to spend time together in a place where our phones were quickly forgotten in the car and the skies reached out in all directions. We hiked through the “gorge” and splashed in the waterfall at the base of the dam. We saw deer and foxes, and shivered our way through hours in the cool lake water.

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There is always time to be busy- remember to take time apart. Shout to the sunset, skip stones til your fingers are sore, run your fingers through the sands of a lake, laugh in the firelight, and always stop for Sheetz at the end of any adventure.

Thank you to these sweet friends for always making time for one another.

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giving thanks (these days)

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for sunset walks in a labyrinth designed by a lady I love dearly.

for hikes with my father through our mountains.

for veggies and fruit picked straight from the Earth.

for my mama’s quiet smile and hard work as she watches her summer camp thrive.

for my morning runs on the canal, watching the Queen Anne’s lace swirl in the breeze.

& for space to reflect and grow.