Recently I read that cataclysmic change often comes slowly. Then suddenly.
Less than a month ago, many of us had never used the term "social distancing" or heard of an N95 mask. In mid-March, we were still trying to decide whether or not the Land Trust should postpone its annual Live Oak Society Reception on March 20. And then within hours, the decision was obvious: of course we shouldn't host an event with 350 people in a packed ballroom. The Corona virus, while impacting so much of the rest of the world for many weeks, moved into our reality slowly. Then suddenly. And for some, irrevocably.
There have been times in the last week when, hiking on Land Trust properties, the only sounds I've heard are my own footfalls and bird calls. It is a surreal experience to be out in nature, where everything seems as always -- the same sun and sky overhead, the familiar smells of pine and marsh, the fetterbush (pictured above) blooming as it always does this time of year -- and yet know that so much has changed.
All of us at the Land Trust (whether we're working remotely at dining room tables, out on porches or balconies, or on a trail at Cannon's Point Preserve) are more passionate than ever about this organization's mission of protecting and preserving St. Simons. We are thankful that as long as there is no "shelter in place" order, our neighbors, friends, and visitors are able to hike and bike on Land Trust properties. We are grateful beyond measure that this community has partnered with us in conserving land for the past twenty years and has helped protect more than 1,000 acres on thirty properties.
We are also thinking about those who are being impacted far more negatively than we: those who have been sickened by the virus or lost loved ones; those who are on the front lines of providing health care; those whose jobs may be eliminated or hours reduced; those managers and business owners who have had to make heartrending decisions; those hometown heroes who lost their home to fire this morning; and those who are elderly and alone.
But as Gabriel García Márquez wrote in
Love in the Time of Cholera
"the heart's memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good,
and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past."
In this e-newsletter, we wanted to share some of the things that are helping our team endure the burden of this pandemic. Whether it's exploring Land Trust properties
virtually with our Membership Manager Raleigh Kitchen
as she videotapes trails and vistas on her daily walks, or whether it's out at
Cannon's Point Preserve where our dedicated volunteers and staff members Stephanie Knox and Marty Moody
are still holding down the fort, we hope you'll be comforted and calmed by the natural beauty of St. Simons as much as we are.
The tide always comes back in -- often slowly. Then suddenly. Until it does, thank you and be well.
SSLT Executive Director