Adjusting the Sails of Life
By Stephen C. Schultz
The dull roar was everywhere. It penetrated your soul to the core. It was immediate and unmistakable as I got out of the car. It had been a while since I had visited this particular location. I happened to be in Oregon with a colleague and partner, Shawn Brooks. We were scheduled to present the next day at the Northwest Regional NATSAP conference in Bend, Oregon.
Shawn exited the car, stretched and looked around. The thunderous sound and thick humid air surrounded us. Shawn immediately said, “Is that the falls?”
Sahalie Falls is one of those places that truly demonstrate the majesty of nature. There is a “peace” amongst the raw power and force of the water as it cascades over the falls. As I stood on the trail mesmerized by the turquoise blue water and emerald green ferns along the bank, I realized that the “peace” I was sensing was a “peace” that resounded deeply in my soul. It was a “peace” of familiarity, a “peace” that was born of home. It was as if I was wrapped in a blanket of belonging by the tender needles of the springtime growth on the large Douglas Fir trees reaching towards the sky.
Now, as much as I like to relive that experience at Sahalie Falls in my mind, and many more memories of my childhood growing up in Oregon, I am reluctantly brought back to the rigors of everyday life. There are the daily tasks associated with a growing and expanding business. There are the constant emotional waters of family relationships that need to be navigated. There is the heart wrenching parental concerns of a young daughter struggling to make sense of the fact that she has a seizure disorder when all she really wants is to simply be “Normal”. There are the joys associated with a teenage son making a healthy and responsible transition into young adulthood.
As we move through this earthly event called “Life”, where do we place our energy and attention? Do we find ourselves being tossed to and fro by the winds of daily tasks, or do we follow the wisdom of the Yiddish proverb;
“You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.”