Hope and possibility are renewable resources

By Joanne Peterson | Apr 03, 2014

I’ve been watching basketball on TV, the Final Four, the end-of-the-season American collegiate basketball extravaganza featuring the best teams in the nation. Some promising teams disappear off the radar after very little opportunity to demonstrate superiority, while others go on to showcase their talent and toughness. Unfortunately, Gonzaga fell off the charts early, so I switched my allegiance to Kentucky.

The Kentucky Wildcats (featuring some phenomenal freshmen) provided great basketball excitement over the weekend, winning two games, most recently beating the Michigan Wolverines in a game so tense I could hardly watch.

My second favorite team, the University of Connecticut, also won, which puts my two favorite teams into the Final Four competition. Following the Seahawk Super Bowl triumph and the lengthy drama of the Winter Olympics, it’s fun to be caught up in basketball for a while.

Something else I enjoyed this past week was a trip to Orcas Island, by way of a stunning ferry ride. I think those of us who live in the Pacific Northwest should be required each year to take a ferry trip through the San Juans, with a stay on one or more of the islands. Is there a vacation place more beautiful that is as accessible to Snohomish County residents? I doubt it.

Orcas Island in the spring is a delight. The weather is uncertain, which I think isn’t a problem. First, a stormy night. Rain beating on the windows. A sunny morning. Afternoon mist. More sun. More rain. Elegant skies with great banks of heavy clouds. Noisy seabirds and an eagle or two, gliding effortlessly above the shoreline. A rainbow. A sunset.

Eastsound is charming, with attractive places to stay, numerous restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries. Eastsound features a fascinating local museum, housed in log cabins. Of course, the drive between Edmonds and Anacortes is pleasant, too. Mt. Vernon and LaConner beckon, with fields of daffodils blooming, while the tulips bide their time.

As I was touring an island and watching basketball on TV, the past week held unspeakable tragedy for the town of Oso when sodden land collapsed, crushing and burying homes and people in tons of mud. With numerous community members dead or missing, exhausted volunteers struggled through the mud, searching, searching.

The shock of the mudslides and the tragic losses resulting from that sudden catastrophe called attention to the uncertainties of life. So did the earlier catastrophe of innocent passengers lost in a huge plane that disappeared as abruptly and completely as if it were the size of a gnat.

Life’s happiness and sorrow intermingle. Pleasures such as ferry rides, ball games, books, music and the laughter of grandchildren brighten my world, but it’s the same world where natural disasters happen, political conflicts rage, and suffering people live in fear.

I think, though, that there’s a flicker of light, of warmth, whenever people provide comfort and aid in the midst of tragedy. No matter the circumstances, hope and possibility are renewable resources. We have to count on that.

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