December weather has been extremely unusual this year. As a result, I was able to run along the Yankton Trail on a very warm Saturday morning and enjoy the weather. Getting out in the morning to exercise allows me the opportunity to clear my mind and reflect on my life and that of others. As I was running along the trail, I was caught by the dichotomy of life. The trees were barren, dark and almost lifeless. But underneath were areas of green and new life.
My family and I have been very fortunate this year to celebrate holidays, birthdays, weddings and other celebrations that provide joy and meaning to our lives throughout the year. However, there are many of us who have struggled tremendously throughout the year with various issues. Sometimes it is very difficult to see the life that is present around us when everything else seems to be in despair. In our facilities around the Avera system, we see how that plays out on a daily basis and the impact it has on each individual. That is why this season and our mission is so important.
The Christmas season is about a shining new light that surrounds every one of us if we choose to search for it. It is present in every moment of every day. We only have to stop to look and listen but it is there. My Christmas gift to you is the gift of patience; the patience to see and hear the beauty around you but also the patience to comfort the needs of those who are suffering.
May your holidays be filled with joy and happiness!