Opinion & Editorial

A Fond Farewell – To everything, a ‘season’

In the words of author Gregg Levoy, “When you’re on the right path, the universe winks and nods at you from time to time, to let you know.”
After 11 years and three months, this will be my final issue writing, taking pictures and copy-editing for The Creswell Chronicle, and everywhere I’ve turned these past few months, there has been a satisfying “roundness” to my sense of closure – a feeling of reaching not the end of a line, but the graceful join of a ring, with open possibility at its center. It’s time. And I’m grateful to know that so clearly, and to feel that knowledge subtly reflected back to me by the people to whom I’ve already said my goodbyes, and in the synchronicity of my final stories.
Gratitude, indeed, abounds.
In my time at the paper, I’ve valued and enjoyed being part of so many exciting sporting events, school functions both carefree and solemn, fun and uplifting church, library and organization-sponsored events, and of course, our charming community holiday celebrations.
I’ve been privileged to meet so many interesting and talented people through my feature writing and reporting, and so many dedicated people who, as part of their schools, library, churches or organizations, work so hard behind the scenes to sustain and improve their little corner of our community, for little recognition or reward – simply because this is their home, and they love and cherish it. I’m happy I was able to do my own small part in sharing your often-unsung efforts with the public through words and pictures.
I am thankful to former Chronicle owner/publisher Helen Hollyer for hiring me as a reporter literally as a walk-in off the street in March 2007, after chronic illness forced me to leave academia and seek a more flexible, less demanding occupation. And just a short time later, the stars aligned to reveal a deeply satisfying talent I never knew I had: The Chronicle lost its freelance sports photographer and I – who had never touched a digital camera and hadn’t done any “serious” photography since I was a kid, but at least knew (some) sports well – said, “You know, I’m pretty sure I could do that….”
Helen handed me the office Nikon and sent me up to a boys’ basketball game at Santiam Christian. When I arrived, I discovered they’d changed the start time and instead of being maybe 15 minutes from tipoff, there were only six minutes left to play! Standing on the sidelines, I shot like a madwoman for those remaining minutes and went home.
When I presented a selection of photos – a jump shot, an up-in-the-air rebound, our point guard battling past a defender, etc. – to Helen and explained what had happened, she looked up at me and said, “You got all these shots in six minutes?!” And the rest is history. Since Fall 2007 I have thoroughly enjoyed every season spent “Chronicle-ing” the high school careers of so many hardworking student-athletes and developing friendly, trusting relationships with coaches.
I likewise treasure the warm, equally trusting connections formed over the years with current and former administrators, teachers, staff and volunteers at all three public and both private local schools and the district office; the remarkable, much-decorated Creswell Music Program; Creswell Library; civic, community, church and organization leaders and volunteers; event organizers; etc. Seeing how much you all care for our kids, families and community and how tirelessly you work on their/its behalf is truly inspiring.
Perhaps most of all, I’ve been honored to bear witness as another generation of kids grew up in Creswell, as I and my own children did before them. In this season of “lasts” – my final sporting event, my final music performance, etc. – I am poignantly reminded of the “firsts” that many of these same kids were also part of.
On June 8, I shot my final Creswell High School commencement ceremony. Superimposed in my mind, as I snapped pictures of those young adults crossing the stage to receive their diplomas, were other photos I’d taken of some of them as 6- or 7-year-olds, participating in library Summer Reading Program or other events during my first year at the paper.
With these captured moments in time, bracketing the whole of our 2018 graduates’ Creswell school “career” and my career at The Chronicle – which began the year my own youngest child graduated from CHS – we come full circle, end and beginning in one. I am profoundly grateful to have shared, even in this small way, in the lives of the generation of kids immediately following my own children’s.
One of my early stories at The Chronicle covered my daughter Breanna’s Class of 2007 graduation; one of my last involves her hiring as the new middle school secretary. As I step away, after so many years, from close involvement with Creswell schools, she steps back in. Just another little wink-and-a-nod from the universe.
“There are seasons for everything,” says Kathi Jackson, who is retiring from the position now Breanna’s. Wink. Nod.
Finally, I thank Chronicle owner/publisher Scott Olson for keeping me on when he purchased the newspaper from Helen despite the limitations imposed by my illness, thereby granting me another half-dozen-plus years of serving in these pages the community I also call home, cherish and love.
Endings are always bittersweet, but as the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca sagely observed, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Change is good for organizations and individuals, and I know the paper and community will benefit from having fresh voices, eyes and perspectives in these pages, just as I will benefit from the new opportunities to learn, grow and serve that surely await me.
The Chronicle has expanded and thrived in scarcely imaginable ways – given the nationwide shrinkage of the print medium – these past two years under the creative, dynamic stewardship of Scott, editor Erin Tierney and marketing/advertising manager Cheryl Richard. They’re local business visionaries. I stand in awe of all they’ve achieved so quickly and am excited to see where their collective vision takes them next.
Though when the new school year opens in the fall I will be on the “sidelines” in a different way than in my decade shooting local sports, please know that I will still be cheering all of you on – teams, schools, organizations and newspaper alike. Thank you, one and all. It’s been an amazing “season!”



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