The pioneer spirit of the
By Jim Cornelius
Most of us have come here from some other place, some other life.
We journey here for the breathtaking sight of sunrise turning the Three Sisters a vivid rose, for the sound of the wind soughing through the swaying tops of towering ponderosa pines. For the soul-soothing rhythms of the Metolius River and the sound of bird cry in the spring.
What we discover is that, profound as it may be, it is not the beauty of the Sisters Country that makes it special. No, what makes the Sisters Country extraordinary is its people.
Making a life in the Sisters Country is a choice – decision to live in beauty, to create a place to raise children, to nurture dreams.
People from all walks of life – scientists and university presidents, artists and athletes, entrepreneurs and single moms – have set out on their own modern-day Oregon Trail to find this place. Those who have lived here for generations remain committed to the Sisters Country, against all odds.
For it is not easy to make a life in this place. There are tradeoffs for living in a small, organic community. Jobs are scarce and you often have to create your own. Doing business in a seasonal economy is a risk. Hard times have struck here as they have across the nation.
But folks in the Sisters Country are determined people, people who, having chosen it, are
committed to building a way of life.
Sisters is a community that celebrates. We celebrate our Western heritage through a decades-old rodeo put on entirely by volunteers. A single mom celebrated her love for quilting and created one of the most significant arts events in the nation. We celebrate our cultural heritage through a folk festival that has earned nationwide recognition.
Sisters is a community that rolls up its sleeves and works. Volunteers build miles of trails to share the joys of hiking and riding in the Sisters backcountry. Workers build Habitat for Humanity homes at a rate larger communities can only marvel at. Moms and dads pitch in at the schools and in scout troops. Church congregations labor to make life better for those in distress.
We have our disagreements and squabbles, like anyone else. But we know what we have here and we work to maintain it, enhance it, and to share it with those who come here to visit – and who may perhaps decide one day to call it
Perhaps you see yourself living here, partaking of all that a vibrant community has to offer. If your personal Oregon Trail leads you to make a life here, you will soon discover another characteristic of folks in the Sisters Country: We welcome you.