I asked our walking groups what practices they would choose to retain out of this lockdown period?
There is a whole gamut of experiences and we are so fortunate to be living in Sydney. Health care is good quality and accessible, housing is enjoyed by most (but fewer than before), social systems care for many of our vulnerable people (with some tragic gaps) and the spread of ‘the virus’ has been relatively contained. Some people have enjoyed this time to retreat and be at home, living more gently in a usually fast-paced city. Time to catch up with those in our households is a mixed blessing – for some it’s precious family time – for others a further strain on tense relationships.
Neighbourliness has been a big winner. It has given us the opportunity, and the responsibility, to watch out for our immediate neighbours. And they are generally home these days! The joy of new and re-established social connections has come in many other ways too. Children are calling and caring for their elderly relatives again. Strangers are more apt to smile at each other on footpaths. Families are out walking and playing together in far greater numbers than before. Walking trails are well-utilised with people appreciating the delights of the natural environment. Letters are being posted again. A new awareness of local business and the wisdom of buying locally-produced goods is happening. Different groups are working together for the first time to act for the benefit of the severely disaffected.
Learning new skills through online courses has brought joy to many. From arts and crafts to study, learning a new musical instrument or singing in an online choir, doing home-based fitness and honing new skills for re-entering the work force, these new activities will continue to bring joy, new friendships and benefits into the future.
Many have suffered great loss over this period – and there will be more to come. Let us come alongside those we know and help where we can. Our own mental health is important too, so take time to reflect on some positive takeaways and keep them happening.
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." (From The NLT Bible, Colossians 3:15)
Hi! I'm Karen, the Lane Cove Community Chaplain. I am pondering life here and in general. Some of my blog articles are originally found in our local paper, The Village Observer, and are repeated here because I would love to hear your response too.