Letter from the Publisher: Eagles wings to get over things

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You need eagles wings to get over things

That make no sense In this world.

~Tom Petty

As I worked on this month’s issue, I listened to an interview with Tom Petty where he recalled the time an arsonist set his home on fire while he was in it. The only material possessions remaining after the fire were the clothes on his back, yet the horrific experience had a positive influence on his life.

“I’m sure it had a great effect on the music I did, because I came back with this very positive, happy kind of music, that I didn’t want to go into any dark corner or anything like that,” he said. “I was just so glad to be alive and to have escaped something like that.”

I still had the late singer’s optimism on my mind when I was alerted a day later that the publisher of Natural Awakenings Long Island, Kelly Martinsen, woke up in the middle of the night to an electrical fire burning her entire home. She posted on Facebook: “We had a fire and I know that there is word out there that we ‘lost everything.’ I want to assure everyone that this is not the case. While our house may be totaled, ‘everything’ I need was found the morning after the fire as I held my kids (all three, even my furry one!) and my husband in my driveway. For now, we have no needs.”

She then went on to thank Waleska Sallaberry, who was staying with her and who woke Kelly in time to get everyone out of the house. Waleska publishes Natural Awakenings Puerto Rico and relocated to the tri-state area with her children after Hurricane Maria so she could enroll them in school.

Thanksgiving arrives this month as a reminder to feel gratitude for all that we have—especially those things that can’t be bought or burned down. Whether it’s a beautiful sunset, a compliment from a stranger or the embrace of a loved one, those are the things that can make us feel the richest—that should always be our everything.

Meredith Montgomery,
Natural Awakenings Gulf Coast Publisher

As you see above, I had a house fire while working on this issue. For now, the shock has your usually verbose publisher speechless. It may take some time for me to process this. Suffice is to say, we are safe and we are alive. I am human and am mourning the loss of treasured mementos, while at the same time evolved enough to recognize that they are just “things.” In my Facebook post, I mention that “my everything” was in the driveway (hubby, kids and dog). In my haste to write a post to assure everyone we were okay, I was remiss in being clearer: My everything is my family (for sure!), but it was after this horror that I recognized my everything is also my community, my neighbors and my friends (near and far), who showed they would move heaven and Earth just to see us smile again. Witnessing that type of love is also overwhelming, and something I will also have to process in the months to come. If you were someone that was there bringing food, smiles, money, clothes or hugs—or that was not there but was texting to tell me you love me—then you are my everything. Please know I am changed because of you! Our family will never be able to thank you. For now, I just hope you know, especially during a month that focuses on gratitude, how thankful I truly am that you are all in our life.

Written with the power of community,

Meredith and Kelly

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