group hug

Yesterday, I spent a good bit of time writing a poetic piece about spring around here. I was pleased with it, it was a good way to wind down my challenging day. And then, my draft went blank, autosaved, computer crashed and that was that.

Seems a good metaphor though. For I was writing about spring and the spilled milk clouds, the high steps and bare skin. The neon yellow grass and the tiny bright green cheering beneath, the sun splashing light on one hill at a time. How spring is the perfect word for the season. A well, a source. A hop, a bounce. A clean slate, new energy.

I was in a bummed out space when writing yesterday while my kids napped. Writing with abandon always helps me work though and sort out uncomfortable feelings. When my draft deleted and couldn’t be recovered, it was the proverbial straw that broke this effing camel’s back.

I shifted gears, a bit tearfully at that point, and stomped it out with a friend. Hiking over the very hills I had written about, the earth absorbed my frustration. I imagined all the feelings of all the people who have hiked these mountains tucked securely under the soil, rolling around toward the core in a big group hug.

It worked, it always does. I am so thankful for exercise and friendship. I am so thankful for these hills.


In this week’s column, I wrote about my memory of running with Margot as a wee babe as I watch her run now, a big kid. Click to read mama digs: in stride.

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Congrats to the winner of $50 at dig, comment #188:

Erin @ NurtureNature said… Happy Anniversary! I’m thrilled to be one of your devoted readers. I truly look forward to your ideas, words and pictures. thank you for doing what you do. erin 

Congrats, Erin! Email me at to claim your prize.

29 Responses to group hug

  1. Aw!!! These pictures make me miss Montana! I spent my first 2 years out of college (2002-2004)as an Americorps volunteer 2nd grade teacher on the Ft. Belknap Indian Reservation in Hays, Montana (about 3 hrs east of Great Falls or 2 hrs north of Billings)

    Montana is such a special place to me and I love revisting it through your blog. Thank you.

    ps- Trips to Missoula were always a big deal and I very much looked forward to the “big city” :)

  2. Meghan says:

    photo number 4. lurv.

  3. Yay! I’m so excited!
    I feel rewarded every time I read your words. winning dig gear is the icing on the cake. thank you, thank you!

  4. Nici, I love your nose. Your profile is regal.

  5. ctb says:

    big sky. big hug.

  6. mumofsix says:

    I think I need a hill…and a friend like Alice.

    How annoying and frustrating to lose your work like that. I can’t bear it when that happens. Disbelief and tears usually for me.

    Love your blog, thank you and love following you on IG as thepitts. x Sarah

  7. Good Lord! Look at those wide open spaces. Must be simply awesome to live on the edge of a mountainside that takes you up close to the clouds. And the thought of feelings stomped and secured under it’s blanket of soil. Wild.


  8. April says:

    Oh yeah, one of the things I miss most about Missoula was how easy it was to get out into nature where you felt like you’re not in the city anymore. Now we live somewhere more rural and it’s not as easy to do.

  9. You have perspective in your back yard!! 😉

  10. jen says:

    I would love to Missoula in a heartbeat. Those mountains! Is U of MT hiring??

  11. Breathtaking photos! I’ve never seen mountains like that in real life…must add to my list of to do’s!

  12. Jaim says:

    No better way to grasp hold of perspective. It always helps me too and I have needed it lately with all the wind around here. Most of the time though I need to get my kids to go with me but this week my MOM is here! I am looking forward to getting a bit of a stroll on my own. I hope you are enjoying those hills right out your back door. It’s great isn’t it?!


  13. Nothing like fresh air and the outdoors to clear your head, beautiful photos. Autumn here and it’s beautiful also but have that squirrelling/ stocking up for winter feeling rather than lightening the load.

  14. Love that third picture. Love your writing. This post WAS poetry. Thank you.

  15. TRB Holt says:

    I am sorry you were in a bummed way…your attitude & perspective on how to move on amazes me!

    Knowing that you are flourishing in my beloved Montana makes me so very happy!

    I love you!

    ps…love ALICE the wonder dog too!

  16. Laura says:

    “Stomped it out with a friend” and “the earth absorbed my frustration.” Your words are wonderful. Thank you for sharing your writing with all of us.

  17. Amy says:

    Oh your hills look beautiful and like I have said before, remind me of home.
    Funks always dissipate. Just keep hiking, friend!

  18. Love your photos! Makes me want to get out of the city and take a walk in a wide open space. Seems like a good fix for a crumby day.

  19. Kelly says:

    I love how you captured the sun, in your pictures and your words. :)

  20. mommytosix says:

    Your pictures are beautiful:-) Should have some postcards made out of those:-) And I loved seeing your picture in Kelle’s book that was just delivered to my door, YAY!

  21. Hazel says:

    Last Friday at work I was rushing to do an email Bulletin, that I had been leaving to the last minute. The bloody thing when I copied the text from word to the email went totally haywire. I was less than impressed, I yelled at my computer, all I wanted to do was go home for my weekend. In trying to fix it I pressed some combination of buttons and the email disappeared. I realised that I’d sent it out to 200 people, as it. It wasn’t too bad, but it still irked me.
    By the time I went food shopping and got home though my sense of humour had returned, but I know how you felt!

  22. I hate when computers crash and things don’t save. Ruh-roh. I love these photos… simply gorgeous. xx

  23. I can’t get over your sky photographs. That. Sky. Oh. My. I’m so glad that the clouds could rush overhead and, with a fab friend at your side, you could erase the $%&* computer &^$#. The worst, for sure.

  24. Brandi Shope says:

    I have become an iPhone cam addict. Your pics always inspire me to grab my Nikon a snap a few pics though!

  25. Annie says:

    I love spring. I also love walks and hikes, especially with my kids. They refresh me and are my pick me up for sure!

  26. April says:

    The third and fourth photos? Holy beautiful!!

  27. Brandi: a little secret: these are all taken with my iPhone! Sometimes I do hike with my camera, but I am super impressed with that little camera and the ease of transport.

  28. Minnesotagal says:

    So very Sound of Music – love it!! Here’s to working out your frustrations.

  29. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read? homemade solar panel