by Allison Smith –
The dawn of a new year always brings with it new hope, and none more so than this one.
When I look back at the first issue we put out after COVID-19 made its way into our lives, it was full of hope. At 64 pages, it was smaller than anything we’d published for many years (since the early days of the magazine, in fact) but we were proud to still be able to share something positive with our readers.
The stories, of course, were “COVID this, and COVID that,” as really it was all any of us could talk or think about. The issue was full of articles about our new normal, keeping mentally well, the idea of being socially distanced … basically a road map for the days ahead. It was also full of ideas for keeping busy while staying safe. And now, 10 months later? Our “normal” may no longer be new, but not a lot has changed. For a couple of issues we tried to stay away from COVID-centric stories, knowing that our readers, like us, must want a reprieve from that which is otherwise nearly impossible to ignore. We soon realized, however, that a balance was possible, and needed. As the months have dragged on, it has become more important than ever to keep busy, stay safe, and take care of our mental well-being.
At time of writing we are all facing spending the holidays with only a small group of our closest family, or for some of us, alone. A vaccine has arrived, but we aren’t sure when, exactly, it will make a difference to our daily lives.
So what is hope, exactly? The belief that things will inevitably get better. In the meantime, we just do what we have to do to get through this, whatever that means, and we keep putting out a magazine for you that, as owner and publisher Sue Hodgson notes, “brings the community together: celebrating life indoors and out, from our local people to our agricultural land.” We hope it brightens your day; we hope you have a wonderful 2021, and above all we hope you are safe and well. Happy New Year!