Change of season brings positive hope for future

Perhaps it is only spring. The breeze last week along the Wallowa river ruffled the water, tugging at the lines of patient fishermen joyful in the sunshine soaking their favorite riffle. Something about the air in the mountains, the hints of green and even an occasional blossom sneaking into view makes us feel more optimistic. As though nature's warming breath across the land will also somehow breath new energy into the regional economy.

Or perhaps this feeling is more than just a warm breeze after a long winter.

New construction projects are in various stages of planning and design. Workers can be seen along sidewalks and store fronts measuring, calculating and marking lines for change on aging walks and walls.

Spring and summer do of course bring new vitality to the local economy as tourists return. Second homes are re-opened and guests arrive to spring vacation and summer solace away from the rushing cares of big city money centers elsewhere. Workers return to forests locked up as much by weather as by continued harvest restrictions, a forest economy now only a ghost of its former size but nonetheless alive.

Perhaps it is only spring. The season brings us hope for reasons often beyond our understanding.

We see positive signs that might in winter have been ignored as necessary dealings with some weather-caused problem or other. In winter, workers on sidewalks move us more to sympathy than hope.

In the sunshine of last week's warm days, it was impossible not to feel the promise of Wallowa County's bright future, and be glad to be here enjoying both the moment and the promise. - CKP

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