What Can I Do?I

It’s all so overwhelming. The Big Picture, at least as much of it as I can see, absolutely paralyzes me. What can I do?

Well, for starters, what do I have to work with Right Here, Right Now?

Well, what I mostly see is (drumroll) unbounded wealth! I live modestly, but have enough money in my pocket for now, with change I’d gladly invest in worthwhile local ventures. In my immediate neighborhood, and certainly in my larger community, I see vast resources that are held and embodied by the people here. Much of this talent and intelligence is already so much a part of our lives here that we take it for granted. It’s woven into the fabric of our being. Foundational to our Life Together. It’s just Who We Are.

And it’s beautiful. And full of as-yet-untapped potential!

“Take for granted.” Usually when we say that, don’t we really mean “don’t have to pay attention to?” But “granted” means “given.” So really it should mean to receive a gift with gratitude and appreciation, for which the appropriate response would be “thank you.”

So far, I haven’t seen much of the economic impact of the Virus Crisus [yes, on purpose, but optional] locally, beyond bare grocery store shelves and mighty quiet streets here in Gettysburg. I’m sure we’ll all be seeing more of it Up Close and Personal very soon. Here’s where I expect our collective ingenuity and open-heartedness will kick in big time. Already is kicking.

Nice to see people out walking the battlefield roads. Never mind the historical significance—not that the history isn’t important, just that it’s not The Main Thing for most of us right now. It’s an incredible gift to have the Park available to us as, well, a “park” (minus all the usual amenities of a park). Just for walking and biking. But that’s huge! Maybe, to show our gratitude, we who enjoy it could now become its voluntary caretakers—stop and move that small branch off the road, that kind of thing. Anything beyond that, contact NPS.

Y’know, that ground had many other histories long before July 1, 1863. I’d like to learn more about them.

Maybe now’s the time to show that there are other ways to “hallow ground,” i.e., “consecrate” it, than through violent bloodshed. “Blood meal” in the garden would be good.

Occasional spontaneous meetings on the street—at an appropriate distance, of course—have suddenly become little celebrations of Neighborliness. Even “hi” to strangers means more now.

Back to “What Can I Do?”

(Hmm, that seems to have become a poem title.)

I, by myself, can’t do much.

I can only do so much.

I can only do what I can do.

Only I can do what I can do.

I can do so much.

I’ll do what I can.

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Carolyn George first acquired an Adams County address in 1978, even though USPS didn't list the mythical land of "West Orrtanna" in its zip code directory. Carolyn's background includes a twenty-three-year stint as Director of the Catholic Charities Counseling Office in Chambersburg, operating a forklift at Knouse Foods for eight years, and seven years of cleaning up after the public in her pre-retirement "geezer gig" as a custodian at the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center. Since retiring from there in 2020, Carolyn has been reveling in her volunteer involvement with the Adams County Farmers Market Association and several other wonderful local Better World organizations.

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