Submitted and written by Laura Elaro
Published in the Winter 2009 CLCA Courier
“Kindness In The Woods”
“Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than can perpetual kindness” –Leo Tolstoy
Recently my family was invited to two fantastic events that embodied everything our community is about – an outdoor concert and the theatre.
Outside on one of the coldest nights of this winter, braving a fresh few inches of snow and the ever present ground cover of ice, a crowd of friends and neighbors gathered. Stars sparkled overhead and cold hands wound around steaming cups of hot cocoa to keep warm. Children ran underfoot as grownups stamped boot clad feet while gathered in groups to chat. The crowd fell silent as the choir leader mounted the steps to begin the evening’s festivities. Faces turned towards our audience of one as he was helped into a chair, framed by the picture window, waving cheerfully from behind his glass viewing booth. And then the concert began in earnest. Voices young and old, practiced and novice, joined in a loose harmony to sing the beautiful songs of Christmas for Mark C. and his family. It was the concert of a lifetime.
A few weeks later on another dauntingly cold afternoon we were issued some tickets to a local theatre. Not a family to pass up a free show we packed ourselves into snow gear and headed on over to see this far, far off Broadway production. Through the door we were ushered into the theatre, playbills in hand. Familiar faces filled the seats and small children sat eagerly at our feet awaiting the curtain to rise (or in this case part). Oh, what a show it was! Music and dancing and a plotline that rivals the best Broadway has to offer. We were witness to an original work of art performed by a troop of actors and actress’ that are at the very start of what promises to be very successful lives in the arts. And it all took place in our neighbor’s home. It was a show we will never forget.
When I started this article the original title was [CLCA] Community Spirit but as I started writing I realized that I had it all wrong. We are [CLCA], a community WITH spirit. In our two and a half years of living in this wooded wonderland we have seen amazing acts of kindness, friendship, and giving unlike anywhere else in the world we have lived. We have witnessed a parade of food, comfort, and help when a neighbor lost her husband to cancer. Blessed are we to have amazing volunteers who take incredible amounts of time out of their busy schedules to coordinate activities for our residents of all ages. What happened when a local family lost everything in a house fire? The response from the local community, CLCA especially, was overwhelming. And when a CLCA family is in crisis facing a life threatening disease we join hands and surround them with shoulders to lean on.
In a time when so many things in this country are uncertain our community represents what our nation strives to achieve: a place where service for others is front and center, where neighbors can borrow the proverbial cup of sugar, and where our children can grow and be witness to amazing acts of generosity and selflessness.
Is our area an anomaly? Maybe. Whatever the secret ingredients are that make this community so special, they work!