This time of year more than any other I think a lot about my family, friends and neighbors. Each of us has our own community - the place where we live and work. But like me, you probably are a member of many communities. I am a member of the National Park Service (NPS) community, the Grand Canyon community, and like most of you, I even have an online community.
Communities are what unify us, bringing us together around common interests, values, goals and even professions. Communities bind us together in spite of our differences, often becoming stronger and more resilient because of them.
Grand Canyon is much more than just a geographical community, and yours probably is, too. Most who chose to live and work here share a deep love of an ancient and spectacular landscape; and regardless of who we work for or what we do, we all work in the spirit of cooperation to share that landscape and our love of it with others.
Much like a family, communities also share the good and the bad, providing strength and support when members are in need. Now, perhaps more than ever, national parks provide America a place of solace, reflection and renewal for the human spirit. Places like the Grand Canyon are more than just incredible landscapes. They offer each of us unlimited inspiration and challenge us to appreciate far off horizons and lofty ambitions. They replenish our spirits and our bodies. Places like the Grand Canyon are our nation's great places of hope, where young and old alike can learn and remember what it feels like to experience all of their senses.
The holidays are a time of giving; and my wish for all of us is that we, take a look at the various communities we belong to and actively seek out those in need. Sharing what we can, even if it is only our strength and friendship in their time of need.
To my NPS community, you make me proud to be a part of such a dedicated and caring organization. To my Grand Canyon community, I am honored to work with all of you on our shared stewardship goals to care for this special place. And to the greater community of those who are as awed by the Grand Canyon as I continue to be, don't forget that every community has its own landscape of inspiration.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all. I hope your holidays are happy, safe and filled with a sense of community and inspiration.
Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park