I know that as I write this, I speak from a fortunate position. We are working safely from home and all of us are still healthy. Other than not being able to see extended family and friends, having some aches and pains from being in front of the computer and get out to the hair dresser, my family is coping pretty well with isolation. While so many are suffering it has been humbling and inspiring to witness the resilience, creativity and kindness of those around us.
Music is everywhere. Concerts on television bringing Canadian artists from their living rooms to ours, live Facebook concerts of our favourite Canadian musicians, and videos from friends and family sharing their music. This week I joined a virtual Ukulele play and sing along with the Bytown Ukulele Group from Ottawa. I played and sang along with people from British Columbia, Ireland, Nova Scotia and here in Peterborough!
Art is everywhere. People are painting anything and everything! From rocks to sea shells to paint nights with friends. There are sketches and sculptures and pottery being made. From digital art to creating sketches from tutorials with famous artists; people are creating all kinds of beautiful art.
Dance is everywhere. There are Tik-Tok videos of dances making teenagers get up and move and follow along. Dance studios are going online to continue extra curricular dance lessons. 30 second dance parties are happening in my living room whenever we need a break from the computer screen. Thankfully, none of that is being recorded!
There is culinary prowess being celebrated. Yeast and flour are hot commodities right now because people are trying their hands at baking bread. People are posting meals they have never made before and swapping recipes with friends. People are growing things on their windowsills and in their backyards for the first time.
Innovation is everywhere. People are trying their hands at DIY projects and coming up with innovative ways to connect online. Teachers are learning digital tools they have never used before in order to connect with their students. We’ve been participating in online trivia and poker nights. My son plays Jackbox party games with his friends while also chatting online or streams a movie together.
Most of all, I have witnessed incredible kindness. I joined a Facebook group called Peterborough Shares. At first it was mainly to communicate where to find particular grocery items and post information about shopping etc., It has since become a forum of connection where people ask for help and others respond. From a new mom recently unemployed to a family who lost their home to fire, people are answering to the calls for help. Something as simple as finding left handed scissors for a child to complete schoolwork or finding a hand crafted Mother’s Day gift, people are coming together to share that information and supporting one another in an unprecedented way. More than ever, my city feels like a community.
I know I am in a fortunate position. I am grateful every day that we took my 87 year old mom out of her retirement home when this all began and that she has remained healthy. I am grateful that my 16 year old son has friends he connects with, teachers who care and a love of artistic things that feed his soul. I am grateful that my husband and I can work from home and that he goes out and bravely gets the things we need. I am grateful that in the middle of all of the chaos, in the middle of the grief and sadness, there is hope.