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Cloverdale Comments by Carol Russell & Reese Foxen

THANKFULLNESS

Oct 29, 2018
by Carol Russell

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“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.”~A.A. Milne

Hi, this is Reece. Recently, Carol and I were trying to decide what we wanted to write about this month. Of course, reasons for thankfulness topped our list and we both quickly realized that we should add to our usual list our work in a range of county and regional agencies and commissions striving to make our community and others better in so many ways. We’re especially thankful for all the good people with whom we work.

Carol’s thankful for her colleagues on our city council and staff plus those in all the organizations where she represents us. As chair of the Library Commission, I’m thankful for the librarians that provide a foundation of fun and growth for everyone. After a good day’s work elsewhere, both of us are thankful to come home to the smiles and comforts of Cloverdale. It’s the combination of the interconnection we find in the wider “community” with the contentment and serenity we find in our home community for which we are most thankful. 

As we talked, we realized that starting in the moment and staying in that moment, focusing on the goodness that is around us, fills us with a satisfaction that is all-encompassing and much needed at this time. We started with the usual. But we soon found ourselves being thankful for similar experiences, albeit, the details were very different. However, the feeling of gratitude and thankfulness were similar – peaceful and calming, overriding the current frustrations of life. 

Last month, Carol was a presenter at the15th Annual Mayors’ Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities awards breakfast where, after a grumpy start with the morning news, she soon settled into the welcoming “community” of local businesses and non-profits surrounding her with people focused on helping others. Everyone in the room was working to make life in our communities better with a number being recognized for their accomplishments, becoming an additional layer of goodness that wrapped itself around her dispelling the bad news. In that moment the world was okay. Serenity and peace enveloped her whole being. The sense of wholeness and satisfaction was something that she had not felt for some time; it was something she carried with her through the day and it permeated everything with which she came in contact. 

In talking about Carol’s experience, I began reflecting on similar feelings I’ve had working with the Library’s Commission and staff. For me, libraries have always provided that sense of peace and goodness from the time I was four helping my grandmother in her library, holding books for people, and then stamping them at check out, until today as I sit amongst other commissioners and librarians, creating a place of safety and giving for the community. That sense of emersion into community as the goodness surrounds me, is one way I live in the moment and connect to the community, bringing Cloverdale some of the energy that elicits the smiles we have often mentioned and associate with our small city. It is the moment of gratitude that makes life okay. 

Our single community starts in the home, moves into the immediate locale around us, and goes beyond where we live into the world. It is this interconnectedness that makes our personal world. TheSonoma County Gazette is an example of interconnectedness bringing communities together into the larger community in a different way as we surround ourselves being in the moment with them…an ever-swirling experience for which both of us are incredibly thankful. 

The questions now are: Where is your community? How do you connect with the goodness of people that create a moment for you? How does this moment bring out the goodness in you? Then, how do you carry the goodness through your day and transmit it beyond yourself? 

Calmer, greater resiliency, capacity to be grateful, self-awareness in the moment of the world around – all of these are things for which we all can be thankful. 

Have a delightful November as we move into the holidays!We hope you find your moments with family, in your local community and beyond. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from the two of us and our hometown of Cloverdale!

 

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