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Archive for April, 2009

Normally, I enjoy the transition from winter to spring. This spring has taken a toll on so many of my friends and colleagues. I have prayed for strangers, for a wide variety of volunteers, for National Guard and various Reserve units, and for city, county, and state workers. Spring in North Dakota was a statewide disaster from which we are only beginning to recover. For many, spring forced transitions far greater than cleaning off the patio furniture or moving the grill out of storage.

Transitions disrupt the normal daily flow of activity. Sometimes they are welcomed as honeymoon periods. Newly weds and those anticipating their retirements rejoice in the shift from the ordinary. Other times, transitions are feared due to the  uncertainty, and rapid change they bring.  Those forced to retire, those whose health requires different living conditions, or someone selling off land held for generations because of economic downturns all face the transition from what was to what will be with a gnawing pain in their guts.

Even a good transition can leave us feeling sad for what we leave behind. When moving toward something new, all that we have and all that we were does not come with us, can not come with us. Childhood into teenager, single to married, worker to retiree – each transition requires us to leave some of the old behind and gain new skills, use new tools, and forge new relationships. Occasionally, something from the past fits into this new life; a special toy becomes the centerpiece of an updated bedroom, the skills that made the match adapt themselves well in the marriage, tools used to create successful work find a new place in different routines.

Today, the birds sing. The water recedes.  The grass grows greener by the minute. I shed my heavier coat for the light sweater of spring.  In this transition, I hope to leave behind the heavy weight of concern and exchange it for the hopeful promise of contributing to the recovery. While the picture of early spring included both waders and snow shovels, we move forward with the smells of bleach and fresh paint, as we don work gloves and steel-toed boots. On with the transition! Welcome Spring!

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