Glimpses of a Neighbourhood Standing Together, Apart.
It’s a sun-drenched, blue-skied, cool spring day and I’ve just come back from a late afternoon jog along the streets of Mount Hope.
The sun dazzled me in a lavish shower of Vitamin D, birds trilled from yet-naked trees, daffodils swayed and danced in the breeze, and I waved over-enthusiastically to yet another (socially distanced) neighbour.

Today’s jaunt around the neighbourhood revealed a Mount Hope community that is trying its hardest to stand together while apart; that is trying its hardest to stand strong during the crazy of COVID-19; that is trying its hardest to find its way in the middle of loss, cancellations, and isolation.
A gaggle of siblings bounce boisterously on their backyard trampoline. I see their heads bouncing above the fence at rhythmic intervals.
An older gentleman is sitting on a lawn chair in the mouth of his open garage. He is wearing sunglasses and waving to any and everyone who strolls by.

A young father carefully cuts his lawn in the middle of a Monday afternoon. His young son pushes a plastic lawnmower and follows at his heels.
Several young sisters chalk encouraging messages, fun challenges, and hopscotch squares all over their front sidewalk.
A teenaged boy roller blades and stick-handles a hockey ball adeptly around water-bottles on his driveway.
A husband and wife wearing dirt-smeared joggers hoe and dig and work side-by-side in their front garden.
And it strikes me that they and everyone I have seen today is busy tending to the things they have.

(I am speaking about the #stayhome people here. Not the frontline workers and essential workers….I know that you are working hard and around the clock and tirelessly and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! We pray for you every day.)

But these #stayhome people in my neighbourhood; I’m talking about you and the way that you are busy tending to the things you have….
Rather than running to the next appointment or class or meeting or sport practice or store or obligation.
Because you cannot go out and you cannot bring the kids to school and you cannot go to work or you have reduced hours; because of this, you are tending to the things you have:
Reading the books you own.
Hanging out with the people you live with or live beside.
Cutting your grass or polishing your boat or walking your dog or watching your boys bike over their home-made ramp for the 873rd time.
Making the most of your space, your time, and your relationships.
And I tell you, Mount Hope. It looks like a beautiful thing.
It looks like a community standing strong and standing together even while we keep apart.
May God bless you all.

Thanks for sending this in Brigette V

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