In a time where overwhelming saturation of technology distracts us and political polarization divides us, I find myself more and more drawn to the grouping of small communities nestled into the hills and rising from the river in this place where I grew up.
Somewhere south of Hartford, east of New Haven and west of New London, starts a triangle of land and water that creates a pocket of the state of Connecticut. It is a symmetrical, powerful land with the Long Island sound grounding the base of the triangle, and the Connecticut River driving through the center and emptying what has taken miles and miles of travel into the home of all things.
I grew up in Chester, Connecticut. This town, now known for its beautiful, quaint village center rich in arts, restaurants, and shops. It holds a treasure trove of even more special places easily discovered by a child growing up there.
Now, grown and raising two daughters of my own, I live and work in this pocket of the state that holds such treasures. In my business I am lucky enough to visit and work on different homes throughout this area. And each time I discover new roads, river views, or hidden forests. But somehow even more amazing than these weekly discoveries are the people I get to meet each time.
As I’ve moved around and met different people in different places and experienced what I have of life so far, I’ve noticed more and more the connection of the people that live here in the Connecticut River Valley.
Even in today’s age where work is found outside of little towns more than in them, and technologies have a tendency to hold us in our houses, the people here still hold onto a sense of community that has a meaning predating them.
In each town there are different generations of people with different views of what their community is; What it’s values are and where it is going. But these generations of folks are tied together, woven into the land.
None of us are perfect. And our community isn’t perfect. But in this little pocket of the state these hills rise and fall with us. They always have, even as they nestle us in and protect us. And there’s Love amongst that. Sometimes it even seems as though it radiates out of the strong river that flows through the center of this area. Through the center of us, like our community’s heart meridian.
And just like these hills nestle us like a womb, and the river charges us for each day, and empties into the Long Island Sound preparing us for something new, so do all of the people of the communities here. There is a support and Love that exists here that can create miracles. The fact that I live in an area full of so much beauty and
joy, and raise my children here to experience that life and Love, and do so through the support of the people here, is a miracle and a testament to the power of this place.
And so I am thankful for all of it. For those who built these towns. For those who lived through tough times in these towns and endured. For all the men and women who left these towns to fight for them. For those who work for these towns and this land to better them. For everyone who participates in this community in small ways and large.
And I am thankful for the very geography of this land that hasn’t wavered in its strength around us. The beauty and grace that emanates out of the hills and the power and assurance that drives down through the river.
And how all of it has nurtured generations of folks that have cared for each other the best they could and nurtured in return the generations that have followed. And I’m proud to be a part of all of that – and all of you.
We live in a very wonderful time, in a very wonderful place.
Let’s all take advantage of that.
Let’s take advantage of every summer day and every smiling face,
every falling leaf and every warm embrace,
every snowy day and moment with each other.
For we live in a land of so much promise. So lets keep that promise to one another.