Early on, in our time of social isolation, a couple of different groups of my friends and family began to check in on each other via video conferences. These have been incredibly powerful. With many friends and family members living so far away, I wonder why we hadn’t done this as groups before?
One of these video groups that has formed includes several of my writing friends. As writers tend to have lots to say :D, this group has adopted a rotating facilitator and a guiding question. (This format would not work well for every group, but it is perfect for this one).
The guiding questions have been invaluable. They have often pushed me outside of my comfort zone, caused me to think outside of the box, and have helped me to see the silver lining when I have been at my lowest and most vulnerable.
This past week’s question asked:
“What has been your favourite non-screen hobby or pastime during these weeks of shelter?” This question was further framed to exclude exercise and cooking. Seriously?! That’s all that I had! Then the question went on to ask what “soul-satisfying” activity we were involved in. With that additional descriptor, I immediately knew.
Three weeks ago, Richard and I took in a dog who needed a home during COVID isolation (as she belongs to someone else, we have not included her in the photos below…but she was in each spot). Each morning, after breakfast, we pack a backpack with coffee, muffins/cookies/cinnamon rolls, water, dog treats, a small blanket (and, of course, hand-sanitizer and Lysol). We then head out to the boardwalk of our nearby ocean. Although we make this same trek daily, it never gets old.
Thankfully, the boardwalk is not closed. Surprisingly, it is usually fairly deserted, at least in terms of other humans. (Think small town!) But it is teeming with wildlife. Chatty sea lions, and birds with lots to say, combine with the lapping waves (and the contented snoring of our four-legged companion) to make an incredibly peaceful soundtrack.
If that’s not enough, the arboretum in the adjoining Community Park houses over 80 unique trees from around the world. A feast for all of the senses! And, whoever has painted the uplifting message on the rocks and stones…please keep them coming. They do make a positive difference.
I had a teacher who once said that we should begin each day with extra ‘chips’ in our pockets. Mornings like these, help to provide extra ‘pocket chips’ indeed!
How would you answer Janis’s question? What has been your favourite non-screen hobby or pastime during these weeks of shelter?”