There were multiple reasons why I chose to pick up and move to Door County to work here at the Pulse. At times during the past six weeks, those reasons have been buried beneath the extreme duress of selling a house, packing a house, storing all of our earthly belongings in an unseen warehouse somewhere, and buying a house.
It doesn’t take long to excavate those reasons from the debris of the latest temporary selling/moving/buying crash, however. Primary reasons were the place, the quality of the paper, the people here who create that quality, and my job. Right behind those reasons were the communities I’d left behind when I departed Door County in 2008. Its communities were full of people engaged with issues small, large, niche and global. Its communities still are. During the six weeks I’ve been here now, memories of Door County’s communities have been strongly reinforced.
I’ve lived in a lot of places, so I say with experience that it’s not “normal” or “typical” for people to be so engaged with their worlds. It does not matter that we are roughly 27,600 year-round people who live on a thumb of land sticking into Lake Michigan. Social and digital media now ensure that we can be informed about and engaged with anything happening anywhere in the world.
Here, people use their voices to speak out through our robust letters section; they draft petitions for local government leaders; they stand on sidewalks holding signs; they email us to argue or draw attention to issues; they use social-media platforms to rally people to everything from public hearings to peaceful protests to charitable causes.
This is saying a lot, given the state of our current world. COVID-19 hit a new high of cases on Sunday; the U.S. economy officially entered a recession in March, with correspondingly high unemployment rates; and our country and world have erupted, seeking justice for the killing of George Floyd and seeking racial equality everywhere.
These are trying times, to say the least. People may be struggling, but they’re not defeated. They collaborate and question and solve and create using their voices, their abilities to act. There may be a clash of wills, temperaments and opinions, but for me it creates an exceedingly positive energy. It’s an energy charged not by violence, anger and hate, but by optimism, creativity, hope and a desire to make this place better for all of us.
So thanks for reinforcing – already – all the reasons why I chose to come home.