Each January, the year begins anew, typically replete with anticipation and aspiration. This January, it feels so essential to be able to quiet the mind, and to reset, to be still.  And yet, the times call out for connecting, collaborating, and sharing.  It is in that spirit that we are hosting weekly sessions with our non-profits.

We gather, like so many others, via Zoom to do just that.  We are always seeking to meet the needs and support our Lorain County non-profits’ efforts, and these meetings often lead to new solutions to vexing challenges.  To our non-profits: we do have some February and March dates available.

Reflecting on the many challenges and difficulties we endured in 2020 (and that remain with us in 2021), I hope you are reminiscing about ways to take care of yourself, your neighbor, your “Auntie,” and others who are dear to us.  We at the Community Foundation just finished “celebrating” our 40th-anniversary last year; in a way, it was our time for reflection.  We engaged in a good deal of conversation and activity, considering various ways to support our community, and we kept coming back to our mission statement of Connecting People Who Care with Causes that Matter.  Were you able to make those connections in 2020; is that something that you contemplate regularly? 

Many of us face a challenge by the dark days of winter.  In her new book, the author Katherine Mary, Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times, speaks to the opportunity that we all have at this time of year; for preparing and planting for the new season.  There is great satisfaction in preparing for the growing season.  If you prefer to be outdoors, join us in our Lorain County MetroParks Winter Pursuit and enjoy the outdoors during this time of social distancing.  Explore 12 MetroPark site outside challenges or head indoors with our outstanding Lorain County Libraries, where you can find the Wintering book – or join our Lorain County Urban League in reading White Fragility.  Or dig into the book that I am currently exploring: Caste, the Origins of our Discontents.  These are all opportunities to think about who we are and how we best come together as a community, supporting one another and our vision of Building a Thriving Community.

January feels like the longest month of the year to many of us.  The lack of daylight may lead us to feel this way.  But just yesterday, the sun was shining and the promise of the new year was in the air.  How do we let more sun into each day?  Or as our first Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman just reminded us.

The new dawn blooms as we free it/For there is always light/If only we’re brave enough to see it/If only we’re brave enough to be it. Stay warm and healthy out there.  We may be apart, but we are not alone.