Fog in the valley and other musings on community development

Driving to Fresno I saw the beautiful “tule fogs”.  I know they can be very dangerous, but what I saw was just beautiful. Overhead the sun was shining and at ground level the fields were covered with white blankets. You could make out some things, while others were hidden. You could see the top of farm buildings and tall trees but they looked like they were standing in nothing.

I was on my way to a conference on “Abundant Community” and I had to smile when I saw the fog, because it reminded me how often I talk with people about Asset Based Community Development and the need to look deeper into the community, to see all the assets and resources and gifts, that are already in the community and not just see only certain parts.

As I kept driving a second fog developed, this one high up in the sky covering up the early morning rays of the sun It created an eerie picture. At ground level we had the Tule fogs and above the sun was covered in fog as well. It was a  strange sight alright. And again I was drawn to community development. Sometimes the problems and struggles seem so great that it is difficult to not see the ‘darkness’ of the work. To despair for lack of sun, the struggles for survival. There are days when I wonder if we make any progress, if we see any changes.

But then my eyes were drawn to the middle. There the crystal clear view of structures and trees and beauty could be seen in all its glory.

Sometimes I guess it depends on where you chose to look. You look up high and things seems dark and ominous, you look too far down and the fog might cover everything.

But if you have eyes to see the beauty in all of it, if you look for what is there and not what is missing… you see some amazing things.

I was reminded that I need to look for what is already there and then I might even see the things that are hidden. Because it is in the journey of exploration and discovery that we see the beauty around us.

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