A Great Splash of Grandeur
Dedicated to Michele and Joe Paige
Montana’s beauty is a living testament to the harmonious dance between earth, sky, and water, where nature’s elements come together to create a symphony of awe-inspiring sights.” – Unknown
This is more than a story of a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see the untamed beauty of Montana but a remembering of those once-in-a lifetime friendships that I cherish and hold tightly in my heart.
A true friend is the greatest strength we can have, for in their unwavering support and genuine love, we find the courage to face any challenge that comes our way.” – Unknown
In 2019, I began a life as an expat with all its glorious excitement and adventures. I was lucky to have the support of my husband and his family that embraced me with love and complete acceptance.
But no matter how much you stay connected with family and friends in your home country, with those devices to magically whisk your messages to the furthest reaches of the planet…there is still a loneliness and need for those deeper connections- those transcending a superficial connection and allowing for a profound level of communication, empathy, and support… resonating on a soulful level, creating a sense of belonging, acceptance, and emotional resonance.
Michele and I met online, on the Fitbit community. I was wanting a support partner in the ever-ongoing health project of losing weight. And our friendship grew…our birthdays were on the same day, January 26th…exactly 5 years apart. She enjoyed writing and was working on her second novel. And she and her husband are some of the most loving, giving people that I have been blessed to know, from providing holiday dinners, helping in shelters, providing books for children of the firefighters…she was always giving…a heart of gold. Our friendship grew as we got to know each other and our trials in life…she had experienced many of the same trials and understood at a soul level the pain that life had thrown at us…we connected most days through the difficulties of everyday life…yet we had never met in person…
When I finally was able to travel back to the US in 2022, she graciously offered her home to us so that we could meet…and I am so grateful. In February of this year, she had a severe stroke, and we are unable to communicate in this part of her journey…and I miss her so much every single day❣…yet so glad that she was a cherished part of my life, and I was able to spend a little time with her and Joe in their beautiful home in the extraordinary natural beauty of Montana.
"Montana's beauty is a gentle reminder that there are still places in this world where the untouched majesty of nature can inspire and heal the weary heart." - Unknown
Montana was unforgettable, filled with vast awe-inspiring landscapes at every turn… a wilderness untouched by the negative aspects of mankind. Located in northwestern Montana is one of its crown jewels, Glacier National Park. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains on the Canada–United States border, is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise or like me – a nature enthusiast or seeker of solace in the tranquil beauty of the wild.
Montana's Untamed Beauty
- Number of named lakes: 131
- Number of unnamed lakes: 631
- Total number of lakes: 762
- Acres of named lakes: 25,622
- Largest lake: Lake McDonald at 9.4 miles long; 1.5 miles wide; 464 feet deep; 6,823 acres
- Number of streams: 563
- Total length of intermittent streams: 1307 miles / 2103 km
- Total lenght of perennial streams: 1514 miles / 2436.5 km
- Total miles of streams inside the park: 2,865 miles / 4,610 km
- Longest stream: Upper McDonald Creek at 25.8 miles / 41.5 km
- Acreage: 1,012,837
- Square miles: 1,583
- Miles of exterior boundary: 205
- Shared with Waterton National Park: 21 miles / 33.7 km
- Shared with British Columbia: 31 miles / 50 km
- Shared with U.S. Forest Service: 130 miles / 209 km
- Acres of defacto wilderness: 963,155, or 1,489.3 sq. miles / 3,857 sq. km
- Elevation at Logan Pass: 6,646 feet / 2,025 m
- Number of mountains: 175
- Highest mountain: Mt. Cleveland at 10,448 ft / 3,190 m
- Number of glaciers: 26; all shrinking in size
- Largest glacier: Harrison Glacier at 1,661,456.75 sq. meters
September 30th…Wow, we just made it, by the skin of our teeth… September 30th was the date in 2022 that the Going-To-The Sun Road was going to be open all the way to Logan’s Pass… Fifty-two miles of sheer joy for any photographer with its scenic views. Holding my breath in anticipation, we started the winding climb… “Ascending to 6,646 feet, hugs sheer cliffs, teeters on precipices, and twists, turns and jibes up the mountain, before finally crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass”.
Beauty in the Wild Chaos of Our Lives
The beginning of the journey was a stop at Lake McDonald. The creation of this spectacular view was a gradual process that took an accumulation of experiences over time…mountains take millions of years through the slow process of tectonic activity, erosion, and glaciation. Reminding me that our lives evolve and transform over time as we navigate the different challenges and opportunities of our lives. We too, undergo emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth as we continuously learn and adapt to our life experiences.
These mountains continue to undergo constant reshaping due natural and man-made forces, such as erosion and weathering. Our lives, like these mountains can be shaped by the external factors as relationships, societal influences, and life events. As we learn to adapt to these changes, we begin to develop resilience, new skills and perspectives that form new beauty in our lives.
Each of our lives has its own unique inherent beauty and significance. Our own experiences contribute to the richness and depth on our individual journeys. Yet, most days we forget to sit and ‘be still’ to be able to find a sense of beauty and meaning amidst our chaos of transformation.
Finding that beauty is a process that takes time and practice. We must learn to embrace the imperfections and uncertainty of life and allow ourselves to be open to the unexpected beauty that can emerge from the most chaotic circumstances.
Finding the Stillness Amid the Chaos
The whirlwind of chaos and instability have been continuous for many years. Tumultuous emotions swinging like a maniac pendulum have often left me uncertain how to survive the storms. Yearning for stability and tranquillity …moments of calm and clarity. So, I embarked on a journey to find balance within the whirlwinds.
I have found solace in nature, escaping life’s chaos to immerse myself in the serenity of forests, mountains, and wide-open spaces. The whisper of wind through the trees and the soft rustle of leaves ground me in the present moment, offering a brief respite from the She sought solace in nature, escaping the city’s chaos to immerse herself in the serenity of forests, mountains, and wide-open spaces. The whisper of wind through the trees and the soft rustle of leaves ground me in the present moment, offering a brief respite from the tumultuous storms. The feel of the soft caress of the breeze upon my face is the touch of my Divine creator that lets me know I’m not alone.
Discovering the power of mindfulness, learning to focus my attention on the here and now. Meditation and breathing exercises allows the chaos around me to fade into the background while I find a cloak of peace within.
I carved out moments of solitude, indulging in the things that bring me joy that bring me joy and relaxation. Photography, writing, and walks are my refuge, offering a sense of control and fulfilment amidst the chaos.
As my tapestry of life has continued to be created…I have discovered that chaos, in its own way, held beauty. It was within the chaos that I found my strength and resilience. It was through navigating the tumultuous waters of life that I have grown spiritually and learned valuable lessons about myself and the world.
And so, as the chaos continues to swirl around me, daily I find my center. I am learning to embrace the difficulties, knowing that even amid chaos, I can create my own moments of peace and harmony. And with each passing day, I discover that within chaos, I can still find the beauty of a life well-lived.
The tapestry of life weaves together a myriad of threads, both dark and light, to create a complex and intricate masterpiece. Dark threads represent the challenges, setbacks, and moments of despair that inevitably cross our path. They symbolize the storms we weather, the losses we endure, and the struggles that test our resilience. Light threads, on the other hand, embody moments of joy, love, and triumph. They represent the laughter that fills our hearts, the connections that uplift us, and the victories that remind us of our strength. It is the juxtaposition of these contrasting threads that gives depth and richness to the tapestry of our existence. Just as a tapestry requires both light and dark threads to create a compelling and beautiful image, it is through embracing the interplay of life’s highs and lows that we come to appreciate the intricate beauty and resilience of our own journey.
How do you survive the chaos of your life?
Beautiful soul, may your life be filled with much love with that touch of magic from my heart to yours❣