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Grassroots Graton - Heather Granahan - January 2016

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Grassroots Graton - Heather Granahan -  January 2016

by Heather Granahan

Happy 2016! 

I for one am glad to flip the last calendar page on a challenging 2015, something I do not say lightly. I can barely wrap my brain around the tragedies of France and San Bernardino and of Syria, the cops gone wild with guns, the landslides and earthquakes around the globe – and that’s just the last few weeks. Closer to home, members of our family were beset by chemo and radiation (OK, that was me), surgeries and health challenges of all types. Gardens withered and my old dog died. We did end the year with better outcomes and warm homes and even a precious few of those gem-like moments that warm the middle of your gut on a tough day. And even visiting puppies – and winter plantings in just in time for the rains. Last year the contrast of facing mortality perhaps did make the bright moments a bit more shiny-chrome (thank you, Nux of Mad Max), and make me even more acutely aware of my good fortune. I chose life and luckily it chose me back, and I get to keep dreaming and chasing said dreams. Not everyone did. So I take some lessons on giving from those around me:

Friend Spring Maxfield joined farmer Sheldon Rosenberg and a small crew and went to Greece to hands-on help the refugee/immigrants floating up to the shores from their crossing from Turkey. They spent weeks cobbling together sanitation, food and warmth for desperate and hypothermic families as they arrived. Stories of some crossings will be with me forever, like the half-sunk boat full of freezing drenched families including a baby – who demanded that rescuers look for a man who had thrown himself overboard to lighten the load saying he had no family and was thus expendable. He was found unconscious and revived. Spring and the team’s help will keep the dreams of better life going for hundreds of fleeing families.

I have a neighbor who is caring for an elder, has a partner who had to have surgery, works full time in the medical world and who still finds time to organize regular baking efforts to bring sweetness to some of our county’s residents who are too ill to cook for themselves. She sees and shares joy and an uplifting view that never fails to remind me of the healing in positive outlooks.

In a huge vote of life and hope, the farmers kept planting and showing up somehow at the farmers market with delicious produce, even though not a drop of rain had fallen. I gratefully filled payed full price. 

Friends who went to the Paris climate talks right after the shootings, shared tales of the actions of hope and innovation throughout the city.

My own mother had two surgeries and still found her way to launch her newly published book about our family’s ex-pat days in Greece (It’s Greek To Me), and gathered toys and delivered them to Middletown for a toy drive for kids of families who were burned out by the fires.

Thanks to the Graton Green Group and the indefatigable HolLynn D’Lil keeping a dream alive and the generosity of a developer, Graton is closer than ever to getting our park. An anonymous donor has offered to match funds and we are 1/3 of the way to the needed funds as of this writing. It is time for the community to step forward with our dimes and our dreams for the park. For the former, send your tax deductible donation to: Graton Green, PO Box 858, Graton CA. 95444. For the latter, the GG board invites the town’s participation at a town hall gathering on Jan. 31st, 2016 from 4 to 6 (location to be announced – but ask anyone in town, it’s not a vast place!) to hear the community’s views and wishes on the proposed Graton Green park site. 

2016 will be better for a lot of folks. Help make it so. Show up with your dreams, even the ones about where we are all going to move if Trump actually makes it all the way!