Tuesday, December 29, 2009

End of Noughty Times

This coming weekend is the end of the triple-noughts - not that 2010 is anything but an arbitrary designation of our transience. But as tradition warrants, the coming new year makes us think about what sort of person we want to be and what sort of world we want to live in.

Living in a small town does give us all a very real opportunity to enact change in our community. We know our politicians and most are accessible to the public; it’s easy (if sometimes painfully boring) to attend meetings and get involved; and there are many local non-profit organizations that welcome volunteers with the energy to do something other than winge about what is wrong.

Being an informed citizen is not necessarily a prerequisite for becoming involved. Just maybe, by becoming involved, a person comes to understand the complexities that sometimes make it difficult to make progress.

Why does one live in SOLdotna and the Kenai Peninsula? If it’s just for a job or because taxes are low or there aren’t too many rules and regulations, that’s unfortunate. Not that these are necessarily bad things, but they aren’t the ONLY things that matter.

It should be about the quality of life here. Parts of the Kenai are stunningly beautiful. There’s adventure to be found close-by. There are, for now, healthy wild salmon stocks in our rivers. There is still plenty of wildlife – although that may change.

There are lots of outdoor activities available all year: hiking, skiing, fishing, biking rafting, kayaking, canoeing, skating, hunting, snowmachining, star-gazing, snowshoeing, climbing, berry-picking…

I am puzzled by those who still possess the ability, but rarely venture beyond a few hundred feet beyond their car door. I am puzzled by those who like to fish or hunt, but view environmentalists as extremists. But mostly I am puzzled by those who want to transform the area into some Outside suburban scrawl.

And that’s why I’m SOL in SOLdotna!

Happy New Year to All.

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