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Smallwood-Mongaup Valley

We are What the Thunder Said

James Loney
Posted 6/3/22

With a shining Memorial Day behind us, we the people of Mongaup Valley and Smallwood and Sullivan County are now in our high season “element.”

Our element in incipient summer is a kind …

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Smallwood-Mongaup Valley

We are What the Thunder Said

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With a shining Memorial Day behind us, we the people of Mongaup Valley and Smallwood and Sullivan County are now in our high season “element.”

Our element in incipient summer is a kind of plasma of living joy, joy which intrudes and extrudes into everything we see, feel, and do.

We experience this plasma of joy each day upon our rising: the rags of fog that soar above the hemlocks in the sunrise, the hammerings of the woodpeckers, the cold dew upon our favorite morning chair when we settle into it, mug of hot java in hand.

In a world of darkness and despair, we here live in something approaching a Midsummer Night’s Dream, full of faeries and stardust, yelping coyotes and staggering, suckling, dappled fawns, three hours old.

We all have cares, bodily, financially, emotionally. Reader, be clear: you live here among chosen folk in an emerald and diamond paradise, full of silver streams and cavernous fragrant pines.

Others who lived like us only a few months ago suffer hourly from unending thunderstorms of bombs and missiles; yet others, elsewhere, from disease, poverty, drought, forest fire, starvation.

We, of middle America, suffer gas prices and inflation. If we may for a moment take serious stock of what is amiss in the world and where we stand in it, we, by any measure, we New York Americans, stand pretty tall.

In point of fact we are the 1% of the 1% of the 1% of all humanity who have ever existed. Let us acknowledge finally that we live better than any Roman emperor, every single day, come what may.

This past weekend the Smallwood Civic Association (SWCA) held its first 2022 membership meetings. A great many Smallwoodians choose to join the SWCA in order to help promote the general well-being and progress of our hamlet.

(If you live in and would like to help improve Smallwood, please join at: smallwood­civicassociation.org). In the past year, the association has been incredibly activistic in its actions, improving lake water quality, Smallwood Beach and firepit, tennis and pickleball courts.

A group of concerned and focused Smallwoodians decided to make a difference in our common lives. They have. This past weekend the SmART fundraiser raised $5,000 with good music and good cheer all around; the boat launch renovation is well underway with racks and storage being installed; our emerald-and-diamond beach will re-open on June 26; the gorgeous and renovated tennis & pickleball courts are now open, seven days a week, weather permitting.

We, all of us who live here, salute and thank you, SWCA Board!

June is Pride Month in most of the world. Various events are popping up everywhere. For SWCA members, “Drag Bingo” with Bell Pepper, this coming Saturday, June 4 from 3:30 – 6 p.m. at the Association Lodge (302 Pine Grove Rd). Just go! You will never laugh so hard, find so many new friends, or slap your knee so hard.

Smallwoodians! What can we say? Life is short, death is long – and coming.

What are you waiting for? We are what the thunder says.

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