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Sonoma County Gazette
North Coast Winds by Robin Joy Wellman

The New Normal

Oct 25, 2017
by Robin Joy Wellman


This month it is all about gratitude and being thankful.

So how do you begin an uplifting article after the devastation that occurred around us, what can I share, what can I say. I know every article is going to focus on this, but of course. For many of our friends and family who lost so much of their lives it must be hard to find even an ounce of gratitude. Yet I hear it all the time in their words. And how do you get to normal? I cannot even fathom what so many people have gone through in the last two weeks. We all want to encourage kindness, super kind, over the top kind. A small gesture of a helping hand for an afternoon, a touch, a hug, and grace can take away some of the hurt. I have read that from this moment on we will refer to time and events as ‘before the fire’ and ‘after the fire’. I think this might be true. I have read many of the children’s responses, seen their hand drawn pictures, their poems, their wishes for their families and communities, and what they deem as a loss. I personally find comfort in their wisdom. Families holding hands, little pictures of their family dog with bandages surrounding by hand drawn hearts, poems to others who have lost everything that speaks about knowing the world will be OK. To see the world in a child’s eye can bring the first glimpses of gratitude. Surround yourself with those you love – and if you can with children as they really do bring a sense of peace.

Everyone, everyone, is thankful for the front line responders and the behind the scenes people. Those who help others evacuate those who bring comfort and first aid, and those who fight the fire, those who create a safe haven and those who provide food for the people and the animals. Thank you – thank you – thank you. A million times over. It is not a little feat to have this sort of courage and willingness to get up in the middle of the night and go out to fight the dragon, it is a BIG DEAL. For the many ways in which you can support our local communities and or find useful resources please visit theGazette website:

It really seemed like the world around us stopped. It did! Getting out for a walk, attending an event, a visit to an art gallery, or a local show is a way to bring about healing in our communities and families. Here are a few things you might like to check out. Gualala Arts is hosting a series of swing dance classes, is host to Karaoke night, to several concerts in November and to the Festival of Trees which is a wonderful way to support our local artists. Visit their web at for all the great events and dates. Maybe you would like to just keep pace with a quiet event and go see a movie at the famous Point Arena Theater.  The Four Eyed Frog bookstore and Point Arena Theater will host an afternoon of oceanic storytelling on November 19th with award-winning author and surfer Jaimal Yogis. A screening of “Saltwater Buddha,” a feature documentary based on Yogis’ hit book about running away to far-flung islands, Zen monasteries, and eventually finding his way home. Afterward, Yogis will discuss the film and his new book “All Our Waves Are Water”.  Also on the 19th the Point Arena Lighthouse will host a lecture at 4 p.m. –Nik Epanchin on Point Reyes Lighthouse & Northern Elephant Seals If you would rather find peace and quiet with a good cup of coffee or tea with some of the most beautiful and relaxing views try Café Aqautica in Jenner, Timber Cove InnOcean Cove Restaurant, Stewarts Point Store, Sea Ranch RestaurantTrinks in Gualala, Anchor Bay Coffee, Cove Coffee, and Franny’s Cup and Saucer in Point Arena. Choose your drink and spot, they are all good.

This Thanksgiving I have a sense that our tables will be full with those who might not have a table. Share your blessings and watch your heart grow.

Be kind, be thankful.


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