"A Prayer for the Oregon Coast"

(A personal statement as read to the Oregon State Parks Commission
during their July meeting on the central Oregon coast in 2007.)

"My name is Al LePage, and although I'm the director of the National Coast Trail Association, I simply am here before you today speaking for myself, as a way of introduction.

I'm here today to offer a prayer.  It a prayer of thanks and praise, a prayer of love and hope, a prayer for the Oregon Coast -- and those special landscapes that give it its unique sense of place -- and have for all eternity -- and for the gift every person, every living being has to see and hear and touch it's wonders.

So, first a prayer of thanks, not only for its very existence -- sculpted over eons by nature -- but also by the grace of all the forces and people that have kept these eternal landscapes alive.  And, a  prayer of thanks and praise to those who have, do and will serve as volunteers and staff, as directors and commissioners, for Oregon State Parks . . . and the time, energy and effort given to keep the coast for everyone.

I hope you see the joy and peace experienced by those who visit and live along our sandy and rocky edge of infinity as appreciation so expressed.  My heartfelt thanks to you, for all you have done.

And last, a prayer of love and hope.

Love can conquer any power, and everyone has the power to love, but commissioners are appointed to a special place where they can put love into action through government.  Actions that literally speak to the love you share with others, Oregonian and visitor alike, for the coast in all it's beauty and awe.  And they speak to the trust we have in you to keep the coast for everyone.  Yes, I pray and hope we can all love what makes the Oregon Coast, the Oregon Coast, forever.  Amen.

Thank you for listening, and
Blessings to you all."