A flock of wild turkeys in Montana

I have a friend who says that he goes to church because something always happens. I take a walk in the woods at dusk for the same reason. It’s a little tricky this time of year in the snow. But this is what I came upon last night, wandering around. Where do they go in the cold? Why do they let me walk past them when they have likely been shot at by people of my shape and vertical stature and smell? How do they think of nighttime and darkness? How do we burden ourselves by being afraid of the dark? Or too cozy in our houses? May you go out into the dusk this weekend wherever you are. May you stumble upon something that stuns you into questions, and then better, into not knowing their answers. Peace.


Marching by Jim Harrison (my favorite writer)

At dawn I heard among bird calls
the billions of marching feet in the churn
and squeak of gravel, even tiny feet
still wet from the mother’s amniotic fluid,
and very old halting feet, the feet
of the very light and very heavy, all marching
but not together, criss-crossing at every angle
with sincere attempts not to touch, not to bump
into each other, walking in the doors of houses
and out the back door forty years later, finally
knowing that time collapses on a single
plateau where they were all their lives,
knowing that time stops when the heart stops
as they walk off the earth into the night air.


Filed under Little Hymns to Montana, My Posts

10 Responses to Stumble

  1. Cindy

    Love it. I walk as often and as far as i can possibly muster. My walking companion know that I search for “creatures”…squirrels and lizards don’t usually count unless it’s a family of particularly adorable such things. I’m talking Dolphins, Sting Rays, Sharks…for the coastal jaunts; deer, coyotes, etc. for the mountains and canyons. Horses out at the Ranch. Not behind bars, mind you, but even being ridden along side the road…the unexpected in its expected place always puts a smile on my face…and it’s a game I play…crossing paths with creatures = a good omen of the day ahead. I’m always right too.

  2. Laura,
    This post evoked such a sense of peace. As much as I’m come to loathe winter, the quiet and darkness draw me in to my soul in a way the brighter, warmer seasons don’t.
    I’ll be thinking of you and the wild flock of turkeys this weekend as I discover something serene out here at dusk. :-)

  3. Beautiful, Laura. Simply beautiful.

  4. Kathy O'Neill

    Laura, what a simple, yet wonderful and pure piece.

    I have lived in my home for the last twelve years. Nine of these years I have arisen at 5:15 am (for many months of the year much before the sun rises to start the day) and have gone for a quick mile walk around the “block”….really a loop. I have encountered many creatures…ducks, blue herring and a fox in the the spring /summer months, and skunks, raccoons, and many deer in the fall and winter. Not to mention the dogs that seem to love to follow in my path!!

    Each encounter with these creatures takes on it’s own form and life. So many times I am the one that stands and stares with that “deer in the headlights look.”

    Our times of solitude with nature are like walking into a temple or cathedral. It is not only a time of pure peacefulness, but one of connection. Connection to Mother Earth, to the core of our being and to all that good and pure. There are those moments where you just breath in the sweet and crisp air of the fall, or the briney, moist sea air during the summer and know that we are one. It is just such a wonderful, peaceful and exhilarating feeling.

    Thank you so very much for bringing me to this place….after a long and particularly difficult week, I needed just needed to “stumble”.

    All the best,


    • lauramunson

      Thanks for this bit of lovliness, Kathy. 5:00 am– wow. That’s committment. I am a disaster at that hour but you have inspired me to rethink my dedication to sleep in the wee naked morning. Please say hi to the herons– ours have gone for the winter. I hope your weekend makes up for your week. yrs. Laura

  5. I love this, Laura ! Beautiful!!! Peace to you :)

  6. Janis Schmier

    It’s amazing how still and silent the evening feels at dusk when there’s snow. I would love to go out for a walk through the snow tonight, but when the temperature is 2 degrees with a wind chill far below that, breathing can be difficult. Even the dogs can’t be outside for more than five minutes without running back for the house. For now, I will just have to imagine myself outside from the warmth of my home and treasure the moment.

  7. Pingback: Something Always Happens

Leave a Reply to ayala Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>