November 22, 2007

Faith, Hope and Charity

We currently know and often meet individuals who see hope, faith and charity as elusive beliefs or forces…abruptly created by despair, sadness and turmoil. Is the desire for hope, the power of faith or the offering of charity exclusively available to only those individuals that are surrounded by joy, happiness and abundance? Does one reach out to “a higher power” only when one experiences fear, doubt, trials or tribulations? We choose to believe that hope for our world…a world without war, hate, hunger, homelessness and pollution should begin from within, demonstrated in our own life, breathed every moment and then shared with our brothers and sisters. We choose to believe that faith must only be a validation of what already is, what will be and what we deserve. We choose to believe that charity is but a word…for with the giving of one’s self, one’s love and one’s commitment without judgment or ego…our beliefs, our actions and our words…can and will naturally provide abundance to all.

Although November was a "typical" month for us here in Champoeg State Heritage Park...teaching, park hosting and “field testing” rain gear, we did decide to go on a short getaway to provide us a respite from these daily routines. The eastern Cascade Mountain Range and the high desert plateaus of central Oregon have always drawn us to explore…so east we journeyed…for the power, beauty and peace the mountains and rivers bring us.

As we made passage through the Santiam Pass atop ice covered roads, we had our first glimpse of Oregon’s winter wonderland. We marveled at the brilliant displays of frozen “ice trees” and the vistas of snow covered peaks. As we drove down to the gateway to the Cascades, Sisters, Oregon, we came to realize, that although completely prepared with cold weather gear, these winter conditions reminded us that we were in very unfamiliar territory. People drove through town with studded tires. Temperatures during the day were well below freezing and a bone chilling 11 degrees at night. Although outside conditions were somewhat extreme for us (wanna-be Oregonians), weather did not prevent us from having a very relaxing and enjoyable weekend. The Three Sisters, South, Middle and North peaks (also nicknamed the title of this post), give Sisters its name and identity. Rising out of its literal back yard are mountain peaks towering to more than 10,000 feet, creating an incredible skyline over this small western town.

During this trip, we not only managed to explore Sisters and many of it’s unique shopping boutiques, but also Camp Sherman on the Metolius River, Downtown Bend, the beautiful High Desert Museum, the Tumalo State Park on the Deschutes River and Black Butte Ranch. We also were able to have dinner at historic Bronco Billy's Ranch Grill and Saloon. The building built in 1912, was a hotel, drug store, an antique store and now a restaurant, is one of the most photographed in Central Oregon…food was good too!

As we close out November in the fields of Champoeg, we begin our last month of park hosting in Oregon. We also bid a goodbye to our fellow hosts and friends, Dick & Melinda. We wish them safe travels, new adventures and more opportunities to pass on their “lifestuff” to those that have the good fortune to cross their path. Their wisdom and talent is featured at
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