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We all need to keep our eyes open for opportunities to step out of the winds of life

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Holly McLaneIf you're one of the many souls praying for snow and rain for the farmers and ranchers in Central Oregon, thank you! It's helping. And they are grateful. If you're one of the faithful fans watching baseball games, softball games and track meets in goggles and galoshes, I see you, I've been you and your sacrifice makes you a card-carrying member of the spring-suffrage club. So, take yourself to the local coffee shop and stuff more hand-warmers into your socks. This short season of squalls shall pass, and we will all be back to wondering why Central Oregon homes don't have air conditioning in no time.

Maybe it's not the weather blustering into your life but unexpected circumstances filling your days with tornadoes of chaos. Take a deep breath and grab hold of the hand extended to you through these words. I know it's hard to find a respite from skyrocketing food and fuel prices, wars, hate mongering social media posts or the urgent family crisis that lands on our doorstep when we least expect it.

We all need to keep our eyes open for opportunities to step out of the wind. It improves life on so many levels. In his book "Mere Christianity," C.S. Lewis describes what to do when life, in general, blows hard: "The real problem of life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the moment you wake up each morning; all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists of simply shoving them all back, listening to that other voice and taking that other point of view. Letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day, standing back from the natural fussing and fretting. Coming in out of the wind."

How do you go about standing back from the natural fussing and fretting in your life? Do you hike, bike, read, knit, pray, have coffee with a friend or take in a car show? Let's all be intentional about finding something that will give us some shelter from the storms of life (and games on our phones don't count). The gales can become so much a part of our day-to-day existence that they become like sandpaper to our souls, and before we know it, there's dust everywhere. Our purpose for living has eroded to a list of life-sucking tasks instead of a vibrant array of life-giving relationships! Of course, there's work to be done; there always will be. But don't let these beautiful spring days whirl by without making time for rest and play.

Lord willing, and the COVID cases don't rise, we should be seeing the farmer's markets opening back up in May and June. Stop by and celebrate the bounty you helped produce when you prayed for rain and snow!

Take the kids to the Tri-County High School Rodeo at the Crook County Fairgrounds from April 29 — to May 1.

On the other end of the noise spectrum, consider blowing some steam by visiting the Crooked River Wetlands Complex, located at 4035 NW Rimrock Acres Loop, in Prineville. There are 5.4 miles of new walking, running and hiking trails complete with 13 kiosks spaced throughout the wetlands with information about the wildlife, geography, and land-use strategies that went into its planning.


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