“As the brightness of summer begins to give way to the cooler, more subdued hues of a Northwest autumn and the Area Directors prepare to visit their communities throughout the region, I find myself about to journey back to the place where the first stirrings of wonder and awe for this land we call the Northwest began to take root within me. It was just over two years ago that I stepped off a train in Seattle as a brand new JV from the farmlands of the Midwest and couldn’t believe that I was going to spend the next year in this city surrounded by water and nestled between mountain ranges. Now, as I anticipate traveling back, an excerpt from a Chinook blessing litany echoes in my head:
We call upon the mountains, the Cascades and the Olympics,
the high green valleys and meadows filled with wild flowers,
the snows that never melt, the summits of intense silence,
and we ask that they teach us, and show us the way.
From the prairies of Ashland, to the rain forest of Grays Harbor, to the tundra of Bethel, we are blessed to be able to work and rest on this land as we are given the nurturing gift of simple and natural beauty in our everyday lives. So, in the midst of the chaos of life…
Take a breath.
And bask in the presence of where you are.”