In our recent efforts to tidy up Main Street, a fact of life has emerged: sometimes we can get so engrossed in our own agenda that we miss the bigger picture. 

On the Saturday morning we met up with Steve Courson and his crew to put our freshly repainted trash cans back out, a task caught our attention. The gutter on Main Street at the north corner of Centennial Park was so clogged with mud that it had started growing its own garden of wildflowers. It was one of those sights that stays out of the conscious level of thinking until you see it, and then you can’t unsee it. 

So, knowing that if we ignored it at the time, the image would creep back in after day was done and lights were out, we got our shovel and our broom, our gloves and some trashbags and got started. 

Now, if you have never shovelled mud, you might not understand what work that is, but take it from me — it is work.  Every shovelful was made heavier with the weight of the questions that followed. 

“How did we let this build up?”

“How did this get so bad without us noticing?” 

“Why didn’t we see this before?”

Five full bags of mud, weeds and wildflowers later, the task was complete. Then — while taking that huge sigh of relief of a job well done — we spied what we had actually done. What had started as an effort to clean up a corner ended up a successful clearing of a handicapped accessibility ramp. It had been so covered in mud, you couldn’t tell it was a route of passage for those not fully able to access the park from other ingresses. Our agenda of cleaning up a seemingly inconsequential mess had further reaching affects. 

How often do we do that? How often do we get so wrapped up in our own ideas and wants that we miss something bigger than ourselves? It is a line of thought that might throw you into the realm of regret. 

As you move through your days working toward your own goals take inventory of your agenda. Who does it affect? Who does it help? Who does it hurt? If we all tailored our acts to the needs of others, eventually everyone’s needs would be met. That is called community. 

And Crossett, we are designed to operate that way. As we bounce back from recent life changing events, check on your neighbors. Just because things are finding a new sense of normalcy does not mean everyone is OK. Support local businesses as they reopen. Share your meals with the church member who always shows up alone.  Smile at the person you pass in the grocery store aisle. Take time to be the community you are, Crossett. 

Be sure to watch the Crossett Parks and Recreation page on Facebook as well as the City of Crossett page, the Crossett Chamber of Commerce page and the Crossett Economic Development Foundation page for updates to the reopening of our community. 

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