Stepping out into the warmth of this glorious March afternoon, we ventured out into an unknown (to us) corner of our new digs in North Dakota. Harmon Lake is a haven just miles outside the city limits where one can gain a sense of quiet solitude in nature. Sand, water, trees, and crisp spring air pouring down the throat and filling the lungs with vital life energy, we took this afternoon as a family to walk, play, dip toes in icy water and tap into the laughter that so readily nourishes our souls. Grateful for these simple, yet profound, moments together.
I first met Kristine several years ago in the dance department at the University of Idaho. We moved creatively on stage and into our next avenue of friendship on our yoga mats. Fast forward to today, and we connect again as mothers. This chapter in our lives, by far the busiest, has been deeply rewarding. Connecting on a different plane of understanding, love, laughter, tears (and profound sarcasm and humor on a continuous basis!). Now we find ourselves leaving this town in which we first met to transition into our next chapter of life in differing corners of the country, but connected we stay, and grateful indeed!
Ramada Inn. Interstate Ave. Bismarck, ND.
There is no better way to ring in the New Year than with a heavy bass line laying down the: F-U-N-K! Yes, these kids know how to have a good time and set the atmosphere so that no one in the vicinity can help but drop a shoulder, swing a hip and dance to the rhythm! A conglomerate of 4 bands [Anonymous Phenomenon, Golden Ratio, Boreal Gardens and Chameleon Moonflower] all with their own savory flavor, interchanging seamlessly on stage and in conclusion collaborating with each other for a BANG of a finale full of laughter and layin' down lyrics. Grateful to be here in Bismarck and know there are funky folks around!
How refreshing to have snow. Bright, brilliant, powdery, pale, S-N-O-W! To step into the crispness that wakes up the lungs and breathe in the brightness that makes the geese call to one another in synchronicity, dancing in flight and in landing together along the glassy Missouri River. Yes, how absolutely astoundingly wonder-full to observe the uniqueness of snowflakes and snow mounds and snowmen made populating the residential grid-blocks lined with towering trees that allude to stories of their birth many decades ago as seedlings right here in Bismarck. How! My, oh, my, to be in a new place is to become a child again. Every sight in its newness and curiosity. These photographs document the Winter Solstice this year, a beautifully clear gift of a day.
Three hundred and twenty nine miles due east of my tiny hometown in northern Idaho, lies a farming town caught in the crossfire of trains and oil: Shelby, Montana. Arriving in this small settlement town gave me a new understanding of the face of rural America. Folks out in Shelby are shockingly friendly- curiously and innocently asking many a questions about new faces in town and what must bring you here if not the prison up the road which holds a third of the overall population. Life slowed down and a beautiful stillness in simplicity set in- nowhere to go, no one to see but my own babe and my sweetheart partner, Charles, at the end of his traveling work day. My camera surfaced as my steady, silent companion during the trip, and in revisiting these photos several weeks after, I realize that it is indeed not where you are but what you make of it. Simple cracks in the earth, dilapidated fences, and symmetrical building fronts surfaced to become much more than the sum of their parts, this is art. This is Shelby- a living city with a faded, yet stubborn rhythmic pulse all her own.
Abundant in August is the harvest, boasting in all its fullness and glory. Here we are to witness, savor, absorb through our pores and tastebuds and dirt-laden finger tips. A seduction of ripe colors luring us into the depths of the mysteries of life and growth; the primordial churning in miraculous, molecular synergy that sustains all life: God. The power of life itself living in you and me and the bumble bee. Life surges the strongest in this sultry month of the year, climaxing abundance before the cool retreat of autumn.
Family gathered today at city beach once again, as families love to do in the summertime. Today it was my family. New generations gathered next to the established generations- but one thing remains constant: change. Ever flowing into new chapters of life, each individual family member is on a personal journey, growing, changing, shedding. I give thanks for this opportunity, to gather and grow, reflect and converse, observe. Mothers turning into grandmothers, oh how the tables have turned! Was it only a few years ago that those were my own tiny fingers raking the city beach sand? And now it is my hands wiping the faces of the little ones as I have moved into the role of mother, life giver, care giver. Nothing lasts- thats the beauty of it all! Precious moments to be experienced in the now, for tomorrow they are nothing but hazy memories. Perfectly imperfect. This too shall pass...Enjoy!
To have my grandmother's piano playing, 97-year-old, canning garden harvests over countless summers, hands grasp my own baby boy's never been scraped, soft as putty, fresh little palms is a gift of perspective. These are two individuals that have impacted my life in colossal magnitude. Her hands have taught me to make biscuits and plant roses, while his hands have opened up my heart and eyes to a world full of compassion and thinking before each action in all relationships. I never knew it would be my son to show me how much my own mother and grandmother love me, but indeed in becoming a mother has been a rite of passage into selflessness and fervent, passionate, vulnerably deep love that is the epitome of this life. Everybody is somebody's baby. Be gentle, be kind.
An afternoon spent savoring the sweet July afternoon over homemade iced tea and shortbread cookies. Dear friends that held the space for myself as I entered the world met my own beautiful son today- moments that cannot be explained, only felt, experienced, fully enjoyed.