As the season of love and good cheer approaches, I find it is more and more difficult to tell the difference between “Christmas Spirit” and normal year-round “Cottonwood Spirit.”
In many towns, if you strike up a conversation in the grocery line to soothe an awkward moment, you might be met with a space-invading sneer. In Cottonwood, everyone seems like a nice friend you just haven’t met yet.
Sadly, out of necessity, banks in some towns have two layers of bullet-proof glass separating people doing business. In Cottonwood, bankers are likely to greet you by your first name.
And what about services? UPS shipping, office supplies, lumber, grocercies, restaurants, pharmacies, and dozens of wonderful services offered by wonderful people are located within minutes of most homes; not long drives or through heavy traffic.
These days with opinions about so many things being so diverse, people remain accepting and appreciative of the value of differences ofter represented, and allow others their own time and space,.
I’ve thought about the early days of Cottonwood, and those first residents who settled here -- starting the first firehouse, the first churches, stores and the library. There were mostly dirt roads then, no traffic, and a strong pioneering spirit. And when more people came, they added to that spirit, which amazingly still remains and grows today.
A few years ago, there was an informal poll taken wherein new arrivals to town were asked what brought them here. Almost without exception the response was the same: “something just drew us here.” Whatever that something is, it remains something special -- something not necessarily experienced quite the same way in other towns -- and something worth appreciating.
So as the season of celebrating love and good cheer approaches, it really all feels quite normal.