I grew up in Cranbrook, British Colombia, a small town about 150 miles north of Spokane Washington. The winters were very harsh, cold, windy and lots of snow. We were often confined for days and sometimes weeks on end. ( Hard to go outside in -30F degrees.) Restricted to the house, we were bored and irritable. We missed playing with our friends in the park.
To help us cope, my Mom would dress us warmly and take us to the enormous play area at the local mall. After we finished our lunch, she would quickly wash the dishes and we would head out in the car. When we arrived, she would hold our hands as we ran from the warm car through the parking lot to reach the glass doors of this protected environment. We would shed our coats, mitts, and hats as they were not needed. Once inside, we would glide down the slides and play on the swings. The merry-go-round was always a welcome sight. Here, we would play happily for hours despite the snow and winds raging beyond the walls.
This playground was my port of refuge. We all need a place to feel secure when the storms of life rage around us. Our refuge can be a place, a person or a memory. Anything to help make us feel sheltered. However, I feel the biggest source of refuge is with God and his protecting presence.