Letter From New York November 24, 2014

The days are slipping away as we hurtle toward Thanksgiving and the Holidays. The leaves are virtually gone from the trees here in the Hudson Valley; ragged winds the last few nights have finished them off. One more time I will have to have the gutters emptied and then we should be good until spring.

Today, it is nearly seventy degrees and I am just freshly in from a walk around my circle, stopping to chat with a couple of neighbors – one, like me, out for a walk and the others battening down the hatches getting their antique car ready for winter. It is cocooned in tarps all winter and then comes out gleaming in the spring, fresh and ready for another summer.

They’re the ones who told me that there is talk of a nor’easter come Turkey Day. My pie man, David, alerted me this morning he wants to come on Wednesday to make his delivery as he is concerned about what it will be like on Thanksgiving itself. Sounds like a storm acomin’.

And it’s hard to think of a winter bluster bearing down on us when it is too warm to even wear a sweater on a walk around the circle today.

Last night I went to a charity event down in Rhinebeck at The Rhinecliff Hotel, a money raiser for a group of teens who go from the local high school down to Nicaragua to build classrooms in a village called La Cieba. They’ve been doing it for six or seven years. My friend Robert’s daughter is going on this year’s trip and so he invited me down.

I was touched by the camaraderie and bonhomie between the students, young and fresh and ready to do good things. Cue the applause for them. They had shiny, well scrubbed faces and oozed of optimism.

They made me smile. And I felt better for knowing they were around. I was impressed with how comfortable they seemed in their skins and personhoods. They laughed and touched while signaling their peacefulness with their presence in the world. They weren’t sullen. And they were going home from working the event to do their math for the next day.

It was heart warming.

What’s not so heart warming are all the other things going on in the world so far from the place inhabited by those optimistic teens of yesterday. There was a suicide bombing in Afghanistan; ISIS may behead another hostage. There is a staccato beat of bad news that has infiltrated the very soul of the world, which was why it was so refreshing to meet those young people last night – alive with their hopes and dreams and aspirations and seemingly feeling empowered to be able to create change.

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