Recently, I traveled to Sharon Springs, New York at the invitation of my friend Christine, who offered to host a book signing for me. Sharon Springs is a village of 547 people. It’s tucked away between the Catskill and the Adirondack mountains and extends just a half mile in every direction.
A week before arriving, I received an invitation to an annual Halloween party in the village. The festivities took place in the town’s funeral home where kids arrived for candy, music, and fun ahead of a pot-luck dinner for the adults. Hugs, welcoming words, and friendly smiles showered down. By the end of the night I felt at home.
In the morning with snow lightly falling, we drove to Brimstone Bakery a few blocks up the road where the aroma of baked goods and freshly brewed coffee warmed us. The village hospitality continued as members of the community arrived, placed their orders, and stopped by our table to chat.
Later, Christine prepared her photography studio for the book signing, and I relaxed steeping in the warmth of the community. The intimate event gave me a chance to meet with each person individually for a mini reading, listen to their experiences, answer questions, and toast with a glass of Prosecco. At the end of the day, we celebrated with delicious dinner and good company at Bistro 204.
In the afternoons, during my stay, I explored the local shops in the village. Each proprietor extended a warm welcome and engaged in friendly conversation. A sense of community, diversity, pride, and gratitude infused every exchange.
My week in Sharon Springs affirmed my belief in the goodness of the human spirit and the importance of relating to others by asking questions and listening actively for a deeper understanding. Maybe my New Year’s resolution will be to connect face to face rather than Zoom, to pick up the phone rather than text, and to ask more questions and listen more closely in appreciation of our connection to one another. The flight home seemed shorter basking in the warmth and generosity of spirit that each person shared with me. What joy to be openhearted.