Relative to the universe, one year is such a puny amount of time.
Even so, today is a monumental day. Dunedin Patch turns 1 today.
I had only been on the ground in Florida two weeks on the day .
I left a perfectly secure, well-paying job, left my good friends and memories, packed up my life in Virginia and moved to Dunedin (sight unseen), where I didn’t know a soul. Many of my friends and colleagues thought I was crazy, but the path seemed clear to me. I was en route to fulfill a mission to serve my new community in whatever capacity I could.
In the beginning the Patch job was tough, I slept very little and spent countless hours in the community and behind my laptop. I felt that no matter how much I accomplished in a day, I could never be productive enough.
“One particular day, when I was feeling especially overwhelmed and frustrated, I actually cried and then called out to the empty, blue sky, hoping that whatever invisible, all-knowing force known as God might be listening,” .
That's when I saw hope in an osprey building a nest outside my home. I watched the bird pick up sticks day after day with faith that it was building for something greater still to come.
I took a page from the osprey's book and kept picking up my own "sticks" (sometimes ad nuaseum).
In July, Dunedin Patch achieved a huge milestone. We published . It was about a Dunedin man keeping his mother's legacy alive through generous acts, and it inspired Patch to make a , which in turn inspired me — the humble editor — to keep forging ahead, obediently picking up my sticks.
The universe didn't stop there.
I found more inspiration in the stories of hope, healing and unity in Dunedin:
I listened to a from friends during a battle against cancer. I every day through an outpouring of love in its smallest actions. I saw how from unimaginable tragedy. I to protect one of their prized natural treasures. I as she struggled to restart after losing everything in a fire and a proud veterinarian who released into the wild.
What my life could have been if I'd stayed in Virginia seems so puny in comparison.
So while I can’t exactly dress Dunedin Patch in adorable clothes and snap photos of it smashing cake in its mouth (like at most 1st birthday parties), we can mark this monumental occasion with a party to thank all of you, its loyal users.
Cake-smashing is not required, of course.
Want to go?
- What: Dunedin Patch Turns 1 Birthday Party
- When: Today, Dec. 29, 2011; 5 to 7 p.m.
- Details: Open to all; Patch swag, snacks and cake while supplies last.
- Cost: Free