Once a month I participate in a group here in Nashville called TWIG (TN Women in Green), and it empowers, inspires and connects women who are committed to environmental sustainability. We gather to network and learn about sustainable businesses, organizations, and initiatives in Nashville and surrounding area.
In early September, we participated in the Nashville Dragon Boat Race at The East Bank – the christening event for this public space. The Cumberland River Compact sponsors it as a way to bring awareness to local waterways and to spread the mission of keeping them healthy and viable for generations.
As a native Nashvillian, I’ve watched this boat race and wondered how I could be involved. This was my year to be a part of this invigorating event, but as is usually the case, what you intend to support and aid others inevitably feeds you back.
The weather was blissful (temperate with scattered clouds), the DJ was engaging and entertaining, and our team was wonderful. Our one and ONLY goal was to not come in last, and our team (Strokes of Genius) was happily average – coming in 19 out of 38 teams in the end and winning our second race! Though we wouldn’t race in the final, we had a friend on the Alive Hospice team that would be in the Cumberland Crawlers race for teams with the longest times.
Although the other three teams had already gone home, they allowed the Alive Hospice Navigators to try and beat their time, and so they achieved the Most Improved Time award and a paddle to hang on their wall. As we began to disembark, our captain asked us to remain seated and proceeded to thank these people that provide compassionate end-of-life care to patients and bereavement support to their family members. They had aided both her mother and father and had impacted her life in a real and meaningful way.
So while the free t-shirt was lovely, witnessing the spirits of that team buoyed by the words their captain continues to encourage me to do the same for others in my path.