From the Desk of the Federation Executive Director: With Gratitude 7/28/23

By Shelley Hubal

There is a narrow bend on the Lilly Lake Trail at Chenango Valley State Park where the Pine trees stand like giants, their fallen needles soften the path below. In the summer, the lilies crowd the lake and, on a sunny day, there are lazy turtles sunning themselves on a log that pokes out of the water. Often a breeze comes off the lake and curls up against the hill behind the trail. I have found that if I pay close enough attention, this narrow bend with all its simple wonder will permeate my loving heart with a lasting peace. 

Traditionally, I stop at this point on the trail to close my eyes, fill my lungs and listen to the birds sing. Lately, I daydream about Lilly Lake. I wonder what it is like in the middle of a dark night or under a full moon? At dusk or dawn? Everywhere I go, especially during these turbulent times, I carry Lilly Lake and it reminds me to meditate on the love in my heart. It reminds me that there is a special spark inside each of us that is God given.

My wish for all of you is that you find your Lilly Lake. Take a moment everyday to just rest and listen. Listen to the silence. Listen to the birds sing. Feel the presence of your loved ones. This is where you will find the peace that will sustain you through life’s challenges. I am sending my gratitude to all of you for the love you have given me and the Federation for so many years. L’shalom.