Homer City Council member Donna Aderhold in a photo taken in March 2018 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Donna Aderhold)

Homer City Council member Donna Aderhold in a photo taken in March 2018 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Donna Aderhold)

Point of View: Finding something beautiful in Homer

The library established the story walk early this year. I discovered this on a sunny Monday morning. The story, “Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood” by F. Isabel Campoy, is perfect for this moment. Mira, a young girl living in a gray city, sees the need for color and hands out pictures she’s drawn to local residents. Her action leads to a colorful mural painted on a shadowed wall, then to painted benches and poetry on the sidewalks. The entire community transforms to vibrancy.

Mira is popping up all over Homer. Someone called the city with the idea to establish a hub where people with needs and people willing to fill those needs can connect, and this hub is being established. A Facebook page, Homer helpers, popped up overnight and is filled with volunteers offering support and assistance to others. The Homer Food Pantry expanded its hours. Church on the Rock established a fund to support community members. Businesses and individuals are making masks and face shields. The examples are everywhere. Homer residents’ willingness to embrace social distancing and self-isolation to support overall community health demonstrates the Mira in each of us.

This stressful time has helped us all understand what is essential. In addition to medical professionals, grocery store clerks, truck drivers, and municipal workers, our relationships to each other are essential.

At a moment when everything feels chaotic and uncontrollable, the one thing we can control is our personal behavior. We can keep informed based on reliable sources, take care of our physical and mental health, and extend small gestures of kindness to those around us.

Thank you doctors and nurses at South Peninsula Hospital. Thank you public health nurses. Thank you City of Homer staff. Thank you to essential workers all across the city who keep us fueled with food and petrol. Thank you to our small businesses — I pray you make it through this time because we need you. To the many community members who have lost jobs, I pray that you will soon be back to work. Thank you to every Homer resident for expressing your best attributes during a time of need.

When you need a lift to your heart, take a short walk along the library trail and read about Mira.

Donna Aderhold is a Homer City Council member.

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