Editor's Desk - November/December 2020

The Dark Months

"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence
is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being."
    — Carl Jung

This morning, after I refilled the bird bath (a daily requirement—the birds are many, and they are messy bathers), I sat at my desk and watched as an entire flock of little juncos flew in and splashed all the water back out again.

The Dark-Eyed Junco is a winter bird in Northern Illinois. They spend their summers in cooler climes (though they do appear year-round in Appalachia and the Northeast). But by mid-fall, my little flock has appeared, and I can count on getting a chance to see them in my yard just about every day. (With so much working from home, that's even more true this year than usual.) They are seed-eaters, so they'll visit feeders, but they also seem to enjoy many of the leftovers I leave standing in the yard—the wild clematis in particular.

They are dark in color, though you'll see the flash of their white outer tail feathers as they flit away. And their arrival always seems to coincide with that moment that you really notice how dark it's getting. Already we are getting up in darkness, and the sun is down by dinnertime.

I know plenty of folks who dread the dark months. And this year's winter dreads seem particularly poignant.

If one of your jobs is helping to motivate and recognize the people who keep your organization performing at its best, now is a good time to start thinking about how you're going to call out and show your appreciation for those who have gone above and beyond during this strange and difficult year.

In these pages, we've got plenty of ideas, as always, to help you get the ball rolling. From luggage to help them gear up so they're ready when the travel opportunities open back up to cameras to help them catch all the action at home and beyond, from performance incentives to holiday gifts and beyond, we've got a full menu of options to help spur you from thought to action.

Think about it—we could all use a little light in the dark months. And we're the lucky ones who can make everyone's day a little brighter by showing some appreciation.

Good luck out there!

And be well,

Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,