Wildfire Season

Well, as many have probably seen in recent news, my beautiful home state of Oregon has experienced some of the worst wildfires we’ve ever seen. I won’t go into the political side of things (though I most certainly have my own opinions about it), but I will say that I am so grateful to our firefighters who are bravely facing the oncoming flames.

It breaks my heart to see such destruction, especially for the people who have lost their homes and/or businesses due to this catastrophe. We’re Oregon Strong, and we’ll get through this, but there are some days when it’s hard to stay positive.

We experienced the density of the smoke here in Central Oregon. It rolled in like a thick layer of fog.

At the worst of times, I couldn’t even see the houses at the end of the cul de sac that’s barely half a block away. This was particularly unfortunate for me, as I’m allergic to smoke in general. I relied heavily on antihistamines and prayed daily for the safety of our poor wildfire crews. It was easy to grow restless. I live in Oregon for a reason, and it’s primarily because I like to spend copious amounts of time outdoors.

This is a time when we are reminded just how easy it is to take simple pleasures for granted. Being able to go for a walk. Keeping the windows open for long amounts of time. And for many of us, being able to visit our favorite trails. I’m utterly devastated that some of my favorite hiking spots in the entire state are going up in flames. I’m almost afraid to learn about just how much damage has taken place, when it could have been prevented.

But I digress.

For now, I will look at the many photos I have of these places and I will be thankful that I got to enjoy them when I did. I will savor these moments of clean, pure air now that the rain has finally washed away the stench of smoke. And I hope that I will not take for granted the moments that make this life so special.

Be blessed.

The Steadfast

Safe to say life is a little crazy right now. People are wondering what the future looks like, whether or not they’ll have a job to come back to, how this will affect their kids, etc.

I don’t have any real words of wisdom other than hold on to your “constant.”

What I mean by that is the thing that gets you through the worst of times. For me, I happen to believe in God. I’m not a very stereotypical Christian anymore because there’s a lot of theology that I happen to disagree with. I won’t get into the details of that, but the one thing that has stayed constant for me is my relationship with God.

Perhaps you’re a spiritual person in a different sort of way. Perhaps you’re not spiritual at all and you find hope in logic. Whatever your constant may be, hold onto it.

I like to think of it the way I do my favorite mountains. I happen to live in beautiful Central Oregon, and because I was born and raised here, the mountains have been a part of my skyline for as long as I can remember. There are three in particular that are incredibly well known in this area, generally referred to as the Three Sisters.

Sisters1

This is from my absolute favorite viewpoint. It’s hard to capture in a photograph, but you’re so close to the mountains that you can see the details of their ridge lines and the rocks and crags on them. It’s amazing.

Because I know this area so well, I always know where the Three Sisters are located. From my particular hometown, you can see their peaks from almost any part of the city. It doesn’t matter if they’re covered by clouds or fog, or if the sun has set. I know they’ll always be there.

That’s kind of how God is for me. It doesn’t matter if there are times when my own clouds of anxiety keep me from seeing Him in the moment. He’s still there for me.

So I repeat, whatever your “constant” is, hold onto it. This, too, shall pass, and we’ll come out the other side. But whatever you need to do in the moment to help get through it, be patient with yourself. It’s going to be okay.

Hugs to you all! (Digitally, of course, so we’re ten feet apart.) 😀