On New Year's Eve, a sweet couple dropped in, for the first time. She is gluten-free by necessity, and he's a vegetarian - they were thoughtful, and interested in what was going on in Medusa. I told them, as I love telling strangers about our history, and about our plans. As they were leaving the man asked me, very pointedly, if I am a believer. I inquired, "A believer in what?"
They wanted to know if I'd accepted their flavor of religion as the one true gospel, of course. Those of you who know me are probably smiling right now, and I politely offered that no, I did not subscribe to any one version of religious reality, nor have I chosen one particular shade of spectacles, through which to see this amazing world. But isn't the question captivating anyway?
Are you a believer? It's been haunting me... I can think of a number of things that I, sitting here early in this brand new year, am a true, ardent, suck-out-the-marrow believer in:
I believe in the power of people to make huge changes - beautiful, indulging, creative changes that make us all better off. And I believe that you are making little changes right now, even if it's near killing you to do it, that are making the universe smile.
I believe in the amazing strength of our communities. Mine have been splintered, fragmented, dwarfed, and endangered but isn't there a resiliency that makes you shudder with awe? Have you ever sat at our front tables on a sunny morning, listening to the amazing patchwork of connections that literally hums? Tommy Snyder shared with me recently that he was thinking of having a small herd of dairy cows again, just to maybe provide some local milk. The thought of it sends a shiver down my back - finally a local dairy here again, and one that might give us access to local milk! There is something ancient and deeply gratifying to hear of such plans. The Duncan family are committed to care-taking their ill and aging mother in her lifelong home, here in the village, a prospect that is both noble and, at times, incredibly difficult and heartrending. But they do it anyway. The Stetners run Wild Thymes, devoted, it often seems, to not only producing delicacies fit for a demi-goddess like Medusa, but to some greater, higher cause. With Fred, I will never tire of talking the progressive politics of a healthy democracy.
I believe, with everything I can muster, in the amazing-ness of everything that is Medusa. I believe that what some see as just a little corner store at the outskirts of Albany County, in the Bermuda-triangle region of the state where Frito-Lay delivery men refuse to tread and where delivery of the New York Times is (still, and again) just a dream, is an incredibly special place. We are graced by Ryan's boots, fresh from the farm, as well as Angela's camera, fresh from NYC - and they might greet each other as old friends. That makes me smile, that gives me something to believe in.
So, from MGS, a hearty welcome to 2011, where you'll probably have to endure another year of me reminding you to shop local, to shop small, to shop here. But even more importantly, this year I'll want to know: are you a believer?