Celebrating Life!

Dear Friends,

A beautiful Sunday greets me. I breathe in deeply and allow my eyes to
absorb the inviting scene that surrounds me. I feel blessed to wake up to
another day and be in the presence of the majestic mountains that have
been part of untold sunrises and sunsets. If the mountains had eyes, they
would see this devotee standing in admiration and gratitude for its magni-
ficent greeting. Get out early today and enjoy admiring the mountains
around you.

As I write this message, my feet are in contact with Lila’s (our dog) soft,
black velvety fur. She is sound asleep, stretched on her side – a position
that conveys the level of comfort and trust she has in her surroundings.
I take a moment to watch her steady breathing and remind myself that
she is getting older. Instead of being sad by what it means, I decide to
stay in and savor the present moment. These are the details that matter
right now, the ones I should be attentive to.

In the last few days, people have been noticing the setting up of stalls
around the park and are asking me what Atenas is celebrating. The
traditional celebration honoring San Rafael, the patron saint of our
county, is responsible for the festive atmosphere which promises some
delicious foods, musical events and a chance to partake in a community
reunion! These fun activities provide an economic benefit to the parish.
Just as important, though, are less-visible benefits like renewed interest
in rural tourism as visitors realize how beautiful our county is.

Planning these yearly festivals involves many members of a community.
A sense of pride is fostered and this is a critical component for improving
the celebrations year after year. We are fortunate to have many wonderful
organizations in the town that support the common good which is one of
the reasons I feel our town continues to thrive despite current challenges.
At the Coope yesterday, I caught bits of lively conversation that hinted the
shoppers were first-time visitors. I hope they bask in the experience, share
the positive aspects and plan a return trip in the future.

Have a wonderful day and a terrific week, Marietta

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