Hello, Western New York! This is the beginning of - what I hope to be - my once-monthly column.
I want to start off by introducing myself to you and outlining my "mission statement." My name is Lindsay (also known affectionately by my country nickname, "Buckshot"). Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I'll be turning 28 this summer. I was born and raised in Chautauqua County. If I have my druthers I'll live my whole life here and my bones will someday come to settle in the soil beside my ancestors.
I want to write to you like a personal letter - to just say things plain, sincere, vulnerable and honest. The truth is that I am beside myself with excitement about the possibility to engage with the community through my words. I am a 'painfully shy' type, and have struggled through some dark years - of loneliness, despair, anxiety. I've been closed off to people, but in my heart I have wanted to make a difference, find some place with which my emotional turbulence could serve a greater purpose. I hope that the variety of things I write about in this column will be meaningful to our community. Right now I am becoming more active than I ever was: I have never been so driven, curious, and determined to serve. I hope that by sharing with you the reasons I love this area and the questions I'm seeking in how to live a good life, it will bring some measure of humor, inspiration, and comfort.
I don't want to employ the rhetorical cliches of politicians, but it's true "the challenges we face as a nation and as a planet," are huge. I don't have the answers, but I want to engage with the community to know what's in our hearts and what our vision is.
I'm helping my dad fix an old barn up so that I can have my first chickens (Barred Rocks, Australorps, Delawares, Easter Eggers, Buckeyes). I will write about experiences in our county, my love for the land, the people, the wildlife. I write for the young people whose struggles I deeply relate to; I write for the old timers with a sentimental streak and the growth pangs in between.
Every moment there are choices to make, history flowing, poetry in the hills and valleys. I want to feel alive and pulsating with connection and love in this unique place and to the many fine characters that are shaped by their relationships here.
When the paper gave me the go-ahead to share my words, I called my mother first, and I said "I'm like Ray Ramano's character the sports writer!" She said, "I was thinking more like John Boy from the Waltons."
If you know me and my rock'n'roll tendencies, you'll get a laugh out of that comparison. But there's definitely some John Boy in me and I invite you to embrace it alongside me. I offer up my humble, corny heart, and I will always welcome your feedback. Looking forward to talking to you again soon. Take care.
Lindsay C. Morrison is a Forestville resident. Her column appears on the fourth Thursday of each month in the OBSERVER. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org