This is a post in pics. Last night, before attending a high school drama production my stepson was part of, I went for a solo saunter in the woods. By the end of the evening, I was nourished, fed, and inspired by a multitude of influences: the woods that surrounded me, the river that flowed beside the trail,
the sky in sprawl above in a budding spring blue,
Clark Fork River Saturday Market, Missoula, MT
Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia I moved to western Montana in 1998 after my first year of college, which I attended right out of high school. While the east coast will always be my native homeland and have special meaning, as the place where I was born and raised, Montana’s where my heart is. Our humble university town of Missoula is a liberal oasis in our expansive Big Sky state. Summer in Missoula involves floating the rivers, hiking, biking, camping, berry picking, festivals, music, local foods, gardening, and our 3 weekly Saturday outdoor markets for produce, food, and arts & crafts. I love it here in Missoula and I am grateful for the opportunity to live here and call this home :)
Here’s a visual display of some of what I love about this area:
Lake Como, Montana
Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard. ~Standing Bear
To become more connected to ourselves, others, our surroundings, nature, and the greater wide world I think is what life is all about. Cultivating a mindfulness practice is all about connection. Dwelling happily in the here and now is directly related to how connected we are in the present moment.
Yesterday I went to Lake Como in the Bitterroot valley (located in western Montana). Along with my mom, stepson, and one of his friends we went on a hike partway around the lake. We were hoping to make it to the waterfall but we had to let go of our destination due to lack of time (If you zoom in to the pic above you’ll be able to see the waterfall across the lake). Alongside the lake trail were wild roses deep pink and fragrant, hillsides splayed with long blades of thick green grass, inclined fields of great craggy rocks, and rust colored trunks of Ponderosas. While walking along a nature trail it is wonderfully difficult to not be absorbed into one’s surroundings. Connection is inevitable within the embrace of nature – sometimes it might take a little while to allow the weights we carry to be put down but, if given the proper amount of time, connection comes quite organically.