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The ending of this year and beginning of a new year make me think of gratitude.

I find it important for my sanity to remember the many ways I need to be thankful for my existence, and to appreciate the many people for whom I am grateful. Obviously family and friends top my list, but many others whom I’ve met through Lane Audubon also enrich my life. 2018 will be the 18th year I’ve served as president of this group. It has become an identity, as well as a passion that fills me with purpose. I am also grateful for the many members who have either become friends or with whom we share a sense of familiarity and common ground. This interconnectedness gives us a shared space within which we can communicate and feel accepted.

Gratitude deepens and energizes relationships. Sharing good feelings boosts healing and makes us more resilient to stress. We become more able to solve problems proactively. And even if not always successful, the act of working toward our goals together gives us a sense of accomplishment. We all know that conservation and environmental efforts rarely get solved entirely to our satisfaction, so we need to remember the value of networking together. This issue of the Quail includes many “Thank You” items for people who have helped our organization. Many more, though not listed, are not forgotten. I truly appreciate the members of Lane Audubon and other organizations we network with. It restores my sense of human goodness, and I am indeed grateful for that!

My feeling of gratitude extends to the many wonders of the natural world that I experience each day. Sometimes the very small beauties of a frosty morning with sun glistening on crystals of ice, or the evening winter sky filled with stars of the Milky Way, envelops me with awe. The natural world we value rolls along with or without our notice; I get far more out of the natural beauty around me than I can ever give back. Similarly, I cannot adequately express how much I appreciate the Audubon family. To each of you who have contributed with donations, local membership dues, volunteer time and your talents…you have my deepest gratitude.