As we advance into autumn, possibly the most beautiful time of year in the Hudson Valley, it is a good time to take stock of the many gifts of nature we are blessed with in Pawling – and the spirit of the Pawling Community, itself, which strives year-round to do justice to those gifts. In October alone, a panoply of upcoming community events is before us to celebrate our surroundings. These include: Appalachian Trail Day and the ArtEast Open Studio Tour on the weekend of Saturday, Oct. 14; the Chamber of Commerce and Pawling Beautification Committee’s Auction and Raffle scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the Mizzentop Day School to raise funds to maintain and improve outdoor corners of the Town and Village; the ever-popular annual Halloween Party in the Village set for Saturday, Oct. 28, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., hosted by the Chamber with an able assist from students participating in Pawling High School’s Peer Leadership organization. Election season is also in full swing this fall, a time to embrace the responsibility of all local voters to exercise a precious right to take part in free elections, a right not shared by everyone everywhere in the world. To build on the affecting sentiment in this issue’s Crossword Puzzle dedication (see page 12), with so many natural and unnatural disasters in the news, there is no better time than the present to appreciate our good fortune and to show that appreciation with acts of love and neighborliness – and community participation.