Fresh Ideas: Thanks to all who make our region better
December 24, 2013
I don't write these columns very far ahead of the deadline, and sometimes I forget the deadline until the last minute. I've fixed that by telling my iPhone to remind me when the column is due, so last week my iPhone beeped and told me I that my column was due Monday. That means published, yes, on Christmas Day.
I felt like a coyote who'd been happily trotting through the forest and stepped on a leg trap.
There are a couple of issues here. First, in my view everything that can be written about Christmas — sentimental, spiritual, corny, uplifting, humorous, critical — already has been written.
Second, I'm not Christian. While many argue that Christmas is not solely or entirely a Christian holiday, I don't want to join in that argument.
So I asked my Buddhist friends what I should do.
Why don't you write about generosity and gratitude? They said, that's something we all share.
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My friend Robin said that while there's always lots of giving and volunteering in Carson City over the holidays, she's more interested in what people in this community do throughout the rest of the year — which is a lot, she said. I agree with her.
There are those who take care of the place and help us get out to enjoy it: Friends of Silver Saddle Ranch; Muscle Powered with their new Ash-to-Kings Canyon Trail (yet to be officially opened but already well-loved; thank you Jeff Potter and all the trail guys); the volunteer members of Carson City's Open Space Committee and Parks and Rec Commission, some of whom (hello, Tricia Lincoln) have served term after term overseeing the development and care of our parks and open space; the Carson Valley Trails Association (thanks Carlo, Kerstin and all), which is quietly building a world-class trail system in and above their beautiful valley; Minden's Kids and Horses; Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts; the Greenhouse Project; AYSO and the many other youth sports league volunteers; and more. Thank you, all of you.
Then there are those who help care for others, not always easy or pretty in the rough times our town is still emerging from: Advocates, FISH, the Capital City Circles Initiative, CASA, the United Latino Community, RSVP's volunteer drivers; Big Brothers and Sisters; the Boys and Girls Club; Carson Tahoe hospital volunteers; Food for Thought; and all the service clubs — Rotary, Lions, Elks, Kiwanas, FOE, Soroptimists. Deep bows of gratitude to you all.
And don't forget those working to make this a healthy, well-educated and culturally rich community: Friends of the Carson City Library; the Capital City Arts Initiative; the Brewery Arts Center; Lyon County Healthy Communities; volunteers at our two state museums and the children's museum; the Sierra Nevada Forums lecture series; the League of Women Voters (look for more of their informative nonpartisan voter forums as the election season heats up next year); the Nevada Day Committee; the hundreds of volunteers who show up every May to evaluate Carson High School students' senior projects; and more.
As I was writing this piece, a line from William Worsdworth kept running through my mind: "That best part of a good man's life, his little, unremembered acts of kindness, and of love."
For all your little, unremembered acts of kindness and generosity, thank you.
Anne Macquarie blogs about clean energy and climate change in Nevada at nevadanscleanenergy.org.