Montana

We’ve known several people over the years who were raised in the state of Montana. Like my friend Kristina from my last post, they are passionate about the Montana snow and the mountains, about the wide expanse of the sky and the smell of the forest.

We only had two days to explore the town of Bozeman and its environs (but we did drive the entire state from east to west–phew!) and even in that short time confirmed the notion that each place along this grand tour of ours has its own share of unique beauty–and a whole host of very beautiful and hospitable people.

To all you Montana folk, thanks for sharing your gushing rivers, pine-scented trails, roaring waterfalls, and makeshift bridges (that enticed my daughter to venture across–and almost gave me a heart attack!).

They have really good bread in Montana, too, but I’m saving that for another post.

Cheers–and onward–to Washington!

South Dakota

Many years ago, when I was an editor for a small journal for women, Kristina Roth George wrote a personal essay that we published about her childhood in the Black Hills of South Dakota. (You can find an audio version of that article here.) That article, titled The Glory of God’s Creation inspired me into action–to consistently find a way to immerse myself in nature and its tremendous beauty. For me, that has meant regular trips straight down to the beach, rain or shine, fog or blazing sun. It was a sad realization, once reading Kristina’s words, that I had been living a mile from the mighty waters of the Pacific and hadn’t even looked that way for many months on end. I made a quick turn around and have been going for three years straight, and have the photos to prove it! (I post photos on Facebook–feel free to friend me…)

My time at the beach has had all sorts of consequences. Suddenly, the tides and the phases of the moon are important. I’ve found the beach in all sorts of states of change. One week it was fully covered with rocks, the whole sea bottom upheaved by a storm and washed ashore. Other days I’ve carted all my kids and friends, and have dug in the soft sand for hours. Tide pools. Lady bugs. Wild flowers. Sea anemones. And my beach days have led to trips into our mountains. To snow days, to trail hiking and the discovery of favorite groves of oaks. God’s creation is glorious indeed, and the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of getting away from home and into the elements has enriched my life tremendously. Thank you, sweet Kristina.

And I see why she holds such treasured memories of these black hills here in South Dakota, and why she returns as often as possible. There is a raw and unspoiled beauty here–a serenity mixed into the green and granite. I only wish we had many weeks to explore this place and enjoy the enchantment that surrounds me on every side.

Listen to her article; I urge you to be inspired if you find yourself indoors too often, or stuck in a routine of work, eat, and sleep. There is healing, restoration, and the possibility of adventure and new discoveries while simply walking along the shore, or sitting by a creek bank reading…

And for us, onward to Montana!

Good-bye beautiful Black Hills…