Celebrating the Comm-UNITY of Canandaigua

I am one of those fortunate people who, after residing in many different locales in this country, and some others, is now able to call the Finger Lakes region “home.” With our “Focus on the Finger Lakes” theme this year at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium (FLM&A), it has been my duty (okay, and my privilege!) to explore more of the region than just what is in my back yard. With my FLM&A Adventure Team buddies, I have cross country skied in the hills above Honeoye Lake, plied the waters of Keuka Lake in a kayak, participated in an Earth Day clean-up at Otisco Lake, and attended a symposium on blue-green algae at Owasco Lake. This month I get to stay home and appreciate my “chosen spot;” Canandaigua at the north end of Canandaigua Lake.

For someone who enjoys spending as much time as possible in, on, and near the water, July is a wonderful month in this part of the world. Every day I will take the opportunity to swim, kayak, canoe, or just sit and watch a spectacular sunset. And some days I get to do all of the above! But as is true in all places, it is not just the lake, that I love, but also the community.

Although Canandaigua is officially a city, it certainly has the feel of a small town. And one of the great things about small towns is the enthusiasm for things like local parades! I make a habit of attending, and sometimes even participating in, the parades each year with my mom, and anyone who happens to be visiting. The theme of our Fourth of July parade this year was “One Comm-unity: Canandaigua Together,” celebrating the people in this community who call “The Chosen Spot” home. In a time of divisive politics and suspicion of “the other,” this simple phrase is a good reminder that although we are individuals, we are stronger if we work together. We don’t all have to look the same, act the same, or think the same. But it is important to remember that each of us has a right to be respected, to have our own opinion, and that all points of view should – in fact must – be heard.

These are just some thoughts I had while watching a lovely neighborhood fireworks display. We have the luxury of celebrating our independence with pyrotechnics, parades, and frivolity. But we should never lose sight of the fact that our independence did not come without a sacrifice. So I am going to try to remember to make some small sacrifices to help make our country, my “chosen spot” of Canandaigua, and the entire Finger Lakes region, a better place for all.

anandaigua, and the entire Finger Lakes region, a better place for all.

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