Gratitude for good tidings

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One might think it’s a stretch to come up with 26 “Good News” columns in 2017 ­— a year run rife with national and international humanitarian and environmental crises, terrorism, war, poverty, divisive rhetoric, political dysfunction, complicity, complacency — and, as we all know, acute sexual harassment awareness.

Yet, turning the lens on our own community, good news can be found daily right at our doorstep.

There is good news every day in this place where we live, work and raise our families — this Northwest Montana treasure called the Flathead Valley where, whether you venture by car, foot, pedal, paddle or wheelchair, you’ll find windows open wide to magnificent natural beauty, places for peaceful meditation, kind folks, and all the fresh air and big skies a soul can take in.

Here at home the good news is found in the countless ways we help one another each and every day — through our generosity to the nonprofit organizations that shelter, clothe and support individuals and families; through our food banks that make the difference for thousands of the marginalized in our community between having enough to eat and going to bed hungry; and through the countless caregivers who heal, counsel and uplift the most fragile of our population.

You find good news in those who protect the poor, the elderly, the disabled, abused women and neglected children.

There is good news in the many charitable foundations, philanthropists and individuals that support those nonprofits who work to build paths and parks, conserve our pristine environment and wildlife, and support sports programs, art and literacy in our towns.

The good news is that our police, firefighters and first responders are always there if and when we need them, serving with compassion and dedication far beyond the call of duty.

Through our children and those who devote themselves to teaching them academically and spiritually, the good news is that the future of the Flathead Valley is in good hands.

I am reminded of the good news in my own life and am grateful for my family and friends, my health and my work — for everything in these last 12 months that has blessed my daily life.

May our eyes always stay open to the good news that surrounds us at every turn in the road. And when the road leads us to unforeseen challenges, may we have the courage to stay the course and trust the journey.

May your news be all good in the days to come.

Happy holidays and happy new year.

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