Breslin_Lisa_EditorsOur holiday issue last year included a note from me about peace and the importance of finding it in a climate of fear and apprehension. The messages hold true every year, but especially this one. This 2015 Editor’s Note will anchor Carroll Magazine’s holiday issue every year. This year, like every year, the team that creates each issue sends warm wishes this holiday season.

You might have noticed that I end each Editor’s Note with “Amazing Peace” as my salutation. The phrase is actually the title of a poem by Maya Angelou that captures the spirit of the holiday season so perfectly that I want to savor it year round.

So by using it as my salutation in letters, emails and publications, I’m called back to the peace of Angelou’s poem.

Angelou read “Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem” for the first time at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C. in 2005.

George W. Bush was president and Hurricane Katrina wiped out lives and livelihoods. Terry Schiavo’s life became a heart-wrenching battle in Congress. And the United States was on alert for terrorist attacks.

Our lives then, as they are now, unfolded in what Angelou’s poem describes as a “climate of fear and apprehension.”

And yet “Christmas enters….ringing bells of hope.”

As we reported for this issue of Carroll Magazine, evidence of ringing bells of hope in our area remained abundant. Carroll is a community of visionaries, artists, and givers who constantly ring bells of hope.

The trick is slowing down long enough to hear their ring.

I hope each one of you will be able to completely turn off your fear and apprehension and enjoy the host of holiday traditions that unfold in Carroll County. Holiday music, decking your halls, the parade, Santa’s tour through neighborhoods on a fire truck, family gatherings, laughs with friends.

If time allows, sink into Maya Angelou’s poem. Share it with a friend, or hand it to a complete stranger.

The Carroll Magazine team joins me in wishing each of you, our awesome readers, amazing peace this season. Thank you for welcoming us into your homes and businesses, and for allowing us to share your stories in words and pictures with each new edition.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we did creating it.

Allow me to let Maya Angelou‘s words offer this column’s last echoing ring:

Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.

Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves

And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.

Peace, My Brother.

Peace, My Sister.

Peace, My Soul.

Lisa Moody Breslin