Gifts From The Heart

Amid the despair and struggle, there have been encouraging signs of the resilience of the human spirit.

November 29, 2021 | | Editor’s Desk

At this time two years ago, we were still blissfully unaware of the word Covid-19. It wasn’t until the turn of the year that news of a novel coronavirus began to seep out of China into North American newscasts. Worrying, but so far away. Then, in a few short weeks, our world was irrevocably altered.

And it wasn’t just the pandemic, though that surely exacerbated the other global social convulsions of the past 24 months. Yet even amid the despair and struggle, there have been encouraging signs of the resilience of the human spirit.

Among these signs here in the hills is an outpouring of creative expression – words, images and deeds that reach out from our imposed isolation in hundreds of small ways to forge essential human connections. It is to them that much of this issue is devoted.

They include an explosion of new books by local authors and illustrators. Our longtime reviewer Tracey Fockler did exceptional service in summarizing more than 40 titles. You may not read all the books, but we hope you find the breadth and variety of genres and topics an entertaining read in its own right.

The issue also includes Scott Bruyea’s thoughtful annual review of new recordings by local musicians. Again, they may not all strike a chord with you, but we hope you’ll heed Scott’s advice to venture out of your comfort zone and discover new voices.

And it’s not just authors and musicians who have been working overtime. Local artists, artisans and chefs have likewise been hard at it. Check out “Made in the Hills” for locally made goods – an extended list for the gift-giving season – as well as “Field Notes” for local craft fairs, and “Food + Drink” for sweets and savouries to please the holiday palates of your family and friends. Or try a little domestic creativity of your own with the tantalizing cookie recipes generously shared by local professional bakers.

Last, but far from least, we once again salute our Local Heroes – a few of the people whose exceptional dedication and leadership make our community a better place to live. And in a separate profile, Tony Reynolds talks to another local hero, dramatist Jane Ohland Cameron, about how her fuzzy Muppet-like puppets are inspiring imaginations at Community Living Dufferin.

Each in their own way, all gifts from the heart.

About the Author More by Signe Ball

Signe Ball is publisher/editor of In The Hills.

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Elizabeth pours orange, blue and purple dye over a layer of snow covering a silk scarf. Photo by Pete Paterson.

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