Cheers to my community!
2011 has passed us by and we now venture into 2012. A new year and here on my birthday (I’m an old lady!), I reflect on the many moons of the last year and look forward to the future.
2011 was full of personal growth and community building. The start of the year was turbulent. I learned more about the ugly side of humanity and my trust in people was challenged. But as a result, I was embraced by the absolute lovely side of humanity. I met beautiful people who I now cherish and consider part of my pack. I grew with old friends who encouraged me through a rough time. My community is strengthening, one that is full of positivity, hope, love, and a keen eagerness to make this world a better place.
Beer, too, is about community. It is a central gravity bringing people together. As early as 6000 BC, people were brewing and sharing beer. In Sumarian culture, people prayed and sang to the goddess Ninsaki, passing on the tradition and process of brewing. As cultures evolved, beer (along with its cousin bread) is credited with allowing for the advancement of technology and uniting communities. There was a strong connection between the brewery and the farm, a vital link in health of our society. Grains and hops grown on farms are provided to breweries who in turn produce food for livestock with spent grains and merriment for the farmers with a tasty, fermented beverage.
Somewhere along the line, we may have grown distant from this connection, as big box breweries dominated the American drinking scene and our grocery stores became stocked with foods grown in far away places. But we are human. We have a yearning for community, a general desire to support our neighbors. We now have more local breweries and farms providing for us and strengthening our communities. I am excited for this change towards a more local, community-driven society.
I am not going to make any resolutions for the new year. But I believe 2012 will bring about great positive change and I will continue to be bring enthusiasm and support for my community. I am so grateful to be a part of it at every moment in my life. The hype over 2012 is that the world is coming to an end, but others view it as a time when humanity changes and for the best. I’m just getting started in this world and see no ‘end’ in sight.
So this is my new year toast to my community, to the great friends and family that have supported and loved me. I adore each and every one of you. Thank you for being such a positive influence in my life. And let’s look to the future with renewed optimism and passion.