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Days will lengthen, bulbs will burst forth and the creeks will rise to nourish the wind-swept land back to life

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Holly McLaneThe simple tune is familiar in times of uncertainty. I hum it nervously while jogging through another pitch-black morning toward home. "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. Oh-oh, this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!"

Sometimes, I see movement in my peripheral vision and hum a little louder, jog a bit faster. Breathe; home is just a half-mile away, and there's a glimmer of light just over the horizon! Inhale, exhale; perhaps this inky blackness won't last much longer.

The clocks may have jumped forward, but the mornings have slipped back into the dark ages, and my heart is heavy with a sense that sometimes the world around me, too, is stumbling backward. If you are blinking back tears, trying to adjust pupils to an unexpected gloom, and desperate for a pinprick of light, as you grope for a hand to hold in unfamiliar territory, then you may feel like we've been living in winter for far too long. Don't worry; we will soon be done with the wind-sucking winter exhale and move on to a great big gasp of warm wind on our faces! 

While your winter may have been slightly different from mine, winter is winter, my friends, and it's something we all experience. These days I'm horizon-watching for the light to show itself earlier and earlier each day; my expectant eyes more than ready to see a marching lion, paws loaded with hope-rays prepared to blast through my dirty window panes.

I invite you to pull off your sleep mask as well and watch the seasons change with me! And rest assured, the One who calculated the earth's tilt and adjusts rotation dials with such accuracy that we can set our plowshares and watches by it will, as in centuries past, come through once again. Days will lengthen, bulbs will burst forth, and the creeks will rise to nourish the wind-swept land back to life. The consistency of the seasons changes not. What is happening now has happened before, and we can have faith that this season of waking up in darkness shall pass.

But, if you feel as though your faith has been rode-hard and put up wet, so to speak, know this: Just as you can sense the wind before it hits your skin, or see the light before sunrise, remember that "Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark" (Tagore).

Tune in to that familiar song rattling around in your head and heart, just waiting to pierce the darkness. Hum it. Then hum it a little louder. And remember, the winter can never hold back the spring.

Now is a good time to pick your head up off the pillow and invite some tiny rays of sunshine in your life to join you at the party. It's happening at Shiloh Ranch Church in Powell Butte on Easter Sunday, April 4, at 8:30 and 10 a.m. A monstrous Easter Egg Hunt for the kids will follow in the outdoor arena.

Also, please accept my sincerest apologies for the tune now stuck in your head.


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