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A Walk in Glacier National Park

Nature soothes my soul, clears my mind, and puts to right whatever might be wrong in the world—or, at least my world. I escape into nature whenever I need to calm the voices, responsibilities, and stresses of daily life, and one of my favorite escapes is Glacier National Park. It's close enough for me to indulge my desire to visit on a whim, yet far enough so I don't have to deal with nearby traffic during peak season.

On my recent trip, I felt a few times like I had the park to myself. Now, it's time to indulge in some of that nature. Let's go together.

I was so excited to see snow after a long winter of hardly any near my house. All of this snow is an extra special treat for my editor who loves it as much as I do . . . okay, not really. She prefers the warm beach and I like cold mountains. Which do you prefer?

Would you go in the water right now? I hope you said "NO!" because it would be seriously cold. Hypothermia cold. Too-cold-for-a-grizzly cold. Actually, I have no idea if a grizzly would go into a glacial water, but I'm guessing not.

Ah, but it's tempting.

The views this time sparked a few ideas for the Gallagher Christmas book I'm working on, a book that will or will not come before or after the other Gallagher book. Ah, so many books to write and so much inspiration.

When the park is almost empty, one can slow down, not worry about traffic, and truly appreciate the enormous beauty. On one of my jaunts down to the water I saw a woman sitting in the snow, bundled up in a down coat, and staring across the water. I doubt she felt the cold much.

We can all use a zen place like that right now. Whether it's a quiet room for meditation, or a favorite park or walk, we all need those moments of peace just for ourselves. There is too much fear and uncertainty in the world, and nature is always there to remind us that no matter what happens, or how bad things get, life goes on and there is always light on the other side of the darkness.

The green beneath the snow hearkens spring weather that will not be delayed much longer. Clouds move aside to reveal bright, blue skies, and the sun peaks through to warm the face and spirit.

The breeze is sometimes gentle and other times gusts of brutal wind sweep across the lake's surface, yet the water always calms. It is the way of nature and the way of life.

I will admit my wish for a bear to appear on this snowy lake shore.

Outside of the park the snow has long since melted, or what there was of it. I suppose the wildlife is pleased, and for their sake I am glad they have not had a difficult winter.

The drive home is clear and the temperature has risen a few degrees. I drive around a bit more to draw out the time, and bask in the subtle changes between winter and spring. We'll have more clouds, rain, and perhaps snow, but the flowers will still bloom, the grass will turn green, and the birds and herds will migrate as they do every year.

It is the way of nature and the way of life. It is not so much a circle as a confusing and winding trail that flattens out at the most unexpected and welcome times.

Be well, safe, and kind to others. It is a time, as all time should be, when kindness, love, and charity are needed.

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MK McClintock writes stories for those who enjoy escaping to another time and place, where their imaginations are free and open to simple pleasures and stories with plenty of happy-ever-afters—at least for the good guys. Villains get a different kind of ending.


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