Another cold, gray January day today; another one forecast tomorrow. Not that it's been a bad winter. It's just easy to get caught up in the cycle of damp, dreary days and start to feel like it's never going to change.

But what's that adage about the only constant in life is that everything changes? Those of us who garden know just because you can't see something doesn't mean growth isn't underway. It's just a matter of time and energy until everyone can see there's something going on. Once you can see what's popping up, it's easy to imagine the future.

Life at the city is like that sometimes. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day details and think nothing is happening. A few days or a couple of weeks go by without a major announcement, and it feels like the dead of winter. It's easy to get discouraged.

But then a body starts thinking about all the seeds that have been planted. It's really been quite a productive eight months. A lot of people have been working on projects that are just on the verge of taking off. It's amazing what partnerships and passion for community can bring about. I'm blessed to get to witness the work of these dedicated people. For example, the last requirements for the purchase of the Mission Street Park property have been met, and the closing on that transaction should be scheduled soon. At the same time, work on submission of a grant request for funds to begin building the park is underway. Phase I isn't complete before work on Phase II is well underway.

We talked about the work Trae Ratliff and friends have been doing toward creating a new youth sports league in Tahlequah. Spring ball is just a few short weeks away, and having that league up and operational is looking more and more like a reality. There are so many potential benefits to be realized. Our young athletes will be able to join local competitive teams. We'll start having more tournaments in town. The fields will be better maintained and teams will have more support through the organization.

Construction of the Greenbelt Trail is ongoing, with a targeted completion of this phase in May. While it's exciting to see earth moving and the trail taking shape, what's even better is that people are already walking the trail regularly. At the first Coffee Cup conversation, one of the participants casually said, "… I was walking my dog on the new trail through the parks the other day…" It made me smile, and it made me dream again of a time soon to come when that trail is complete and we're well on the way to making the next part of the system a reality.

Warm weather and sunny days are just around the corner. Change and opportunities are on the way.

Sue Catron, former assistant vice president of Business and Finance at NSU, is mayor of Tahlequah.

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