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When my life begins to mirror the weather forecast (“spotty”), I know it’s time to head to water.

Somehow, I need the ocean to lighten the load when life seems heavy.

But going to the Pacific wasn’t possible yesterday, so we packed a light picnic and went for a drive in the countryside.

Myrtle Creek, OR (Hadi Dadashian photo)

We passed bright green fields of sheep with lambs, horse paddocks with new foals, and pastures with sturdy, black Angus cattle. We saw farmers in their still-wet fields, and dogs running alongside tractors, in the mud.

My heaviness lifted with the morning fog, and soon, I was excited by all the hawks and other raptors hanging out by the roadside, scanning for lunch.

We stopped at what looked like a river, green and cool and rushing with spring melt from nearby mountains. It wasn’t the Pacific, but Myrtle Creek looked and sounded more powerful than her name.

Hadi Dadashian photo

I was grateful for the power of the water, and its gentle place in the Oregon landscape. We were both grateful for a break from the city, and the heaviness I’ve been lugging about like a piece of luggage.

Deep breaths … I imagined I was letting the heaviness fall into the water, and imagined watching it tumble in the rapids below.

Deep breaths … guided imagery is a particularly imaginative form of meditation, yet it works.  For me, anyway.  Most days.

We had lunch and watched two fishermen walking in the distance, shouldering rods and a big, blue cooler.  They were followed by two blonde boys, who dawdled while examining whatever in the tall, green grass.  The men shifted the cooler back and forth, as they hiked down a steep bluff to a fishing hole at water’s edge.  The boys played all the way down.

The creek stormed by all of us.

I felt lighter afterward, which only made me more determined to find joy in everyday.