June 23, 2020
Community in times of Covid and Community Unrest… what does it mean? I have been experiencing community in new ways these past 99 days. I imagine everyone has also experienced new ways of being connected.
Today I started my day with my Mindful Nutrition group…on Zoom. Most of the participants I have never met in person. Yet I feel connected to them and so very grateful. At the beginning of the shelter in place, due to the pandemic, my beloved Pilates instructor offered her gifts in nutrition and started a group. I jumped right in. Now I have replaced many bad habits with good habits; and rely on this community to be held accountable and to celebrate with as we each make great strides toward better nutrition and better living.
Late afternoon was a Zoom meeting with former fellow volunteers for a youth grief support program. We have continued to gather, even though we no longer volunteer for the program. In this time of shelter in place; we switched to Zoom meetings every two weeks. We share care and concern for each other as we face challenges in our individual lives. We celebrate the blessings in our life. This night we talked about end of life and the options and restrictions at this time, along with Advance Healthcare Directives and The Five Wishes.
Evening I started cooking with joy for my adult daughter and my dinner. She and I are learning how to be in community while honoring boundaries. She has just graduated from college and is home The morning included my daughter making a healthy breakfast and making a plate for me. The evening included me making some cocktails first; and then a lovely dinner for us to share of Thai Peanut Sauté with Chicken, Sweet Potato and Peas.
In the midst of the day I had telephone conversations with my Goddaughter in Wisconsin and my dear friend in Kentucky. So grateful for the telephone to be in touch with loved ones at this time. The connection makes it all the more real to hear their individual issues and struggles at this time; and glimpses of celebration.
At one point during the day, my daughter’s dog; my granddog, landed in my lap and was part of the juggling as I tackled my to do list. Both of my cats circled and meowed in protest as I had Bruce, my granddog, sitting next to me with no space for the cats. Eventually they all three ended up in the same space; although socially distanced… each in their own chair, or lap to the lucky one.
The past few days I have been part of community via Zoom for a Clergy Retirement Celebration; a dear friend’s graduation/completion of her Clinical Pastoral Eduction practicum; a happy hour for the Twins Club which I was with as we formed the club in 1999; a strategy meeting as part of a care committee for one of our parishioners at the church that has claimed me.
In this time of solitude and reflection I am grateful for the ways I am learning to be my authentic self; individually and in community. Even if community is called together through a computer screen.
This is my prayer this night:
“The real quest for today is living our individual authenticity in community, where we’re powerful as individuals — and together, as individuals in our authenticity, we are much more.” — Michael Toms