Recognizing our common bonds | Editorial

Like any community, San Juan Island is a community of people with different cultural traditions and different religious beliefs. December is an important time.

These different observances, by virtue of being near the close of a year, come at a time for reflection on all our common bonds.

We mourned together this year (600 people attended the memorial service for Judge John Linde Dec. 12). We struggled to pay bills together (sales and lodging tax revenues are their lowest in five years). We raised money to help others (more than $17,000 was raised for teacher Greg Sawyer’s impending kidney transplant). We saved programs and services that enhance our quality of life (thanks to our vote for Prop. 1 and the school sports levy). We saw need and responded (the Food Bank is serving more than 100 people each week). We saw generosity and celebrated (the late Jerry Inskeep donated $4 million to the San Juan Island Community Foundation for high school scholarships).

There are many more examples. Each one illustrates why living on an island is different. This island, as we’ve said before, is like a ship at sea. Surrounded by water, how we live affects our neighbors in an immediate way. We need each other.

As we’ve seen this year — indeed, as we see year after year — each of us matters. In this community in this northwesternmost county in the continental United States, no one is anonymous. We each have the capacity to make sure no one falls through the cracks. When times are tough, that’s how we survive.

We head into a new year together, remembering as Robert Fulghum wrote, that “no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”

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