As the year gently draws to a close, there have been moments where I contemplate all that has happened and all that the New Year could bring. This is a mixed internal dialogue, vacillating between gratitude for all that I have been gifted with and grief for those that have lost so much.
In the time I have spent in the Eastern Plumas area this year, I have been privileged to witness acts of kindness and love, and I have been able to watch how those acts ripple outward and affect the entire community. I have also seen the hardships and loss that some have suffered, and have observed the way that every loss, every victory, is felt by all in the community.
The world feels like an uncertain place to many right now, myself included, as politics roil and heartbreaking incidents take place over the globe. Recording the history of our “little piece of the pie” here in Portola has helped me, personally, to see that despite the turmoil that catches us up, when a community comes together the results are far beyond what you could imagine.
That, ultimately, is what I am grateful for — the constant reminder that we are all in this together. Every time there is a need, the community response is heartwarming. When a member of the community has a triumph, the rest of the community rejoices. Some people may knock small towns, but I see nothing small in the hearts and minds of those that I have had the honor to meet. I am grateful for all of you in the community allowing me to record your milestones. It is a genuine pleasure to share in your stories, endeavors, and lives.
With that being said, a New Year is beckoning, and many are already making their New Year’s resolutions. I’m not necessarily going to make the usual vows to myself this year — no diets, no crazy workout programs that I might stick to for about a week. This upcoming year, I have a different focus.
My New Year’s resolutions revolve around “the intangibles,” such as empathy, kindness and service to others. If I can take one thing with me into this next year, it is that kindness is key. We never know what someone else is going through and as an avid quote collector, I dwell on this bit of wisdom from author Wendy Mass: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
Thank you, Portola, for gifting me with that kindness as I learn and grow into this position. I wish you all a Happy New Year and look forward to recording your “history in the making” in the months to come.