A revitalizing event

Dear Friends,

After last night’s heavy rains, it is lovely to see the sun peeking through the foggy, obscured landscape. Nature stirs my heart and wherever you are, I hope you are being greeted by equally majestic scenery. Spend time outdoors today, if you can, reflecting on the merits of being able to see, feel and breathe.

Every month we have a recycling campaign in our town. Due to the massive bundles being dropped off each month, the Municipality extended the campaign to two days per month for the rest of this year. Each campaign’s revenue is assigned to a previously-approved organization in our county with the condition that the organization provide volunteers to help sort the items as they come in.

It is a revelation that this condition repulses many needy institutions; or worse, that some institutions accept the condition but don’t seriously recruit the required volunteers. This poses a serious challenge for the Municipality which must then use its employees for this task, taking them away from their other responsibilities. The long-term implications of this fact are sobering, but that is a story for another day.

Last week’s proceeds were allocated to the Hogar de Vida, our local orphanage. Volunteers were recruited and a schedule was drawn up. We (my husband, our daughter, our gardener and me) signed up for Tuesday morning and were there with other volunteers. It was interesting to note the observance or non-observance of the guidelines for recycling as people drop off their items. Some folks deliver their recyclables neatly tied and others just dump things haphazardly into bags. It is apparent that the instructions are still not reaching everyone in the county and this needs to be addressed.

The mood in the park was pleasant and everyone was working when a large group of college students from the School of Field Studies here in Atenas (http://www.fieldstudies.org) showed up for their turn. In minutes, the pleasant mood turned vivacious and joyful with their presence. We had more helpers than bundles and this allowed me to do my favorite thing in the world: engage in a conversation with interested people who are experiencing this tiny paradise for the first time!

I was exhilarated and captivated by their energy and by their desire to make a contribution to the world, beginning with Atenas. I was thankful our paths coincided because it revitalized my own deep desire to help this county be the best it can be. I am willing to do my part, how about you?

Have a wonderful Sunday and a very fruitful week, Marietta

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