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Dear Kiantha: We can learn to navigate the mountains in our lives

Dear Kiantha,

Week after week something unfathomable (to some) happens in this country. Are we resolved to living a life of uphill battles and mountains to climb?

Dear Friend,

More than 20 years ago, I made a life-changing decision to relocate from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest with my young son. While the move was the singular best decision I have ever made, it required that I adapt quickly to a new landscape in a mountainous region.

Having lived both east and west of the Cascade Mountains, I’ve experienced extreme wet seasons in Seattle and warm, dry summers in Eastern Washington.

While precipitation values have differed depending on my location, what is a constant during my time in Washington has been the mountains.

I accept that mountains are and will always be permanent fixtures in the landscape of our beautiful Evergreen State. I accept that the mountains existed before me and will exist long after I am gone as they are part of the natural terrain of the Pacific Northwest.

I have learned to accept that when I am east of the mountains and wanting to travel (drive) to the West Side, I will need to confirm and plan for the condition of the pass connecting the two sides of the state.

I have experienced the heartbreak of planning a trip to the West Side in the winter, only to learn that the mountain passes were closed because of inclement weather. This has happened to me on multiple occasions, causing disappointment and the need for last-minute trip cancellations.

For as long as I live in this beautiful state, mountains, and my ability to travel through and around them, come part and parcel with the territory.

This same philosophy applies to our time here on this earth. Each day has its own mountain.

The challenging terrain we face as an evolving nation coupled with polarized ideology on legislation and human rights issues assures us that everyday there will be a new figurative “mountain” and the necessity to create a plan to help us navigate through or around it. We can do it, we always have.

Soul to Soul,


Dear Kiantha can be read Fridays in The Spokesman-Review. To read this column in Spanish, visit To submit a question, please email

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