Fall Sunday: Give Thanks for Book Club

Fall Sunday: Give Thanks for Book Club

vm-115-book-club-webThere are the obvious things one can be thankful for in Telluride. The beauty of elk grazing on the valley floor, wispy clouds playing hide-n-seek amongst the mountaintops, and of course, early-season snow. But, in the cracks and crevices of our valley’s magnificent geographic features, there lay little hidden gems – little micro-communities that, when taken all together, make up our small town.

A simple example is book club. Multiple groups of women gather monthly with the intent to discuss a book that most haven’t read. It’s an excuse to gather, maybe throw on a cute shirt and drink wine. One husband noted, “My wife looks hot, she must be going to book club.” Another threatened to start his own “book club” that would meet at the Buck once a month.

But, book club isn’t about what we don’t do; it’s about what we do do. We catch up with each other, about our kids, our jobs, the schools, yoga class and ski conditions. Some may call it gossip; we call it discussion.

Recently, news of a beloved mother in our community whose cancer prognosis had become terminal, spread from one book club to another. Everyone’s heart ached for the family, but the heart of every mother in town perhaps ached just a tinge more. The response was the same, “What can we do?”

Rumor has it that seeds for fundraising ideas began with her book club. The effort quickly grew beyond and ended in a community party with an entire Mountainfilm sponsored program, a strip tease by the local firemen, and donated items ranging from sunglasses to a Vespa. The effort raised over $100,000.

It was also at book club that I saw a friend for the first time after her mother passed. The multiple threads of conversation constituted the perfect balance of comfortable intimacy, providing natural opportunities to check in with her. Many of us joined her, and an extended network of her friends and family, for a yoga session the morning of her mother’s service.

yoga-art_gmtBQzptpqBefore each yoga class, the teacher directs the participants to declare an intention. On that day, the intention was clear; it was palpable. Over twenty-five friends and family (including two men — her brother and his good friend dressed in a tutu) crammed into Studio E. We stood shoulder to shoulder, moving in unison from mountain pose to down dog  as music from her handpicked, hip-hop, soundtrack blasted the studio and our souls. The unified movement gave even the familiar lyrics a more significant context: Home is whenever I’m with you. 

Stories like these are countless in Telluride and they have one element in common: the ceremony of gathering, whether it be in a lift line or living room.  This Thanksgiving, when I gather with family, I will give thanks to home, book club, and the interconnectedness of a small town.
















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