No one can lose either the past or the future

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana

Were you to live three thousand years, or even countless multitudes of that, keep in mind that no one ever loses a life other than the one they are living, and no one ever lives a life other than the one they are losing. The longest and the shortest life, then, amount to the same, for the present moment lasts the same for all and is all anyone possesses. No one can lose either the past or the future, for how can one be deprived of what’s not theirs?

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 2.14
Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana

And this, too, shall pass away

Montana, like me, is prone to extremes. Endless sun-baked days in August yield to the endless gray and the early dark of December. Late fall, early winter I stumble a bit, and the wolf of depression makes a visit. We must remember to stay pragmatic, do what you know helps, don’t listen to your thoughts, for they are, thoughts.  We too should revisit what Lincoln said nearly 160 years ago.  

It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: “And this, too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! — how consoling in the depths of affliction! “And this, too, shall pass away”


Abraham Lincoln, Wisconsin State Agricultural Society
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
September 30, 1859
North Fork of the Flathead River, Montana

In the gloom of the storm comes beauty.

January 1, 2018

It was the first day of 2018, January 1. A big snow had fallen two days before and we struggled to get up the North Fork Road to find a place to shoot skeet.  It was already getting dark when we made our way south, back to Columbia Falls.  As usually I was driving way too fast and just happened to see something on the east bank of the North Fork.  As the ABS engaged we slid to a stop and quickly reversed.  Turns out I didn’t need to rush, they were two Moose who had just crossed the river.  In fact, at first we thought there was just one but then the other stepped out from behind the first.  They were still for many minutes.  I imagine they waited for the chill of the freezing water to fade away from their numb legs.  Then, slowly they moved into Glacier National Park.  

Moose, North Fork of the Flathead River, Montana

It started to snow this weekend though the backcountry has been covered for a few weeks.  I can only imagine the slow hardship that winter is on animals.  It’s a silent death, or a narrow survival.