Thoughts along the path . . .

Connecting During the Pandemic

Finally the calendar has turned to 2021. Like most people, I am hopeful for a post-COVID life. None of us know when this will be or even what it will feel like. A return to “normal” doesn’t seem like progress to me. Surely we can learn and grow from our experiences — transform “lessons learned” into “progress.”

In the meantime, let’s take time to share among ourselves how we are coping with the pandemic, to remember the good moments, to consider insights, and to reflect on how we are getting along with our work and with other people.

With this in mind, I’d like to tell you about the reboot of the Unity Café — something I have written about several times pre-COVID. For 2 years Unity Cafés explored the theme of “Connecting Mind, Body & Spirit” through in-person gatherings at the NDCC. We have been uplifted and entertained through a presentation on a variety of topics from yoga to storytelling and ever so much more. We have shared refreshments and social time with others and even made new friends. We eagerly looked forward to the next one, never of course guessing that a pandemic would stop it all.

A pandemic? How many of us even used that word before now, much less ever thought about living through one? Well, as it turned out, we have all lived during a pandemic for almost a year, and we have learned to be flexible, patient, resourceful, and mindful of others in a whole new way.

There’s something about going into a new year that renews hope and inspires fresh starts. So please consider joining us on 15 January at 7:30 for a Unity Café. We can’t do it in-person, but we can make it very personal instead. What do I mean by that?

The program, which will be presented through Zoom, will begin with a few minutes of “open-mike” when everyone is free to offer a meditation, quotation, or prayer for health and well-being. Then four people will share their own pandemic story.

Specifically: (1) Anne Loeffler from Wilmot Township near Plattsville will show photographs and tell stories about maintaining a small farm through three seasons of the pandemic. (2) Adib Ahrari from Ayr will reflect on what he’s learned while working from home – communications, time management, and collaboration. (3) Steve Thomas from Kitchener has stories and examples about keeping fit and keeping engaged in a sport or hobby while respecting guidelines such as physical distancing. (4) Barbara Melara from St. George will tell us about volunteerism as a board member for a non-profit charity in Bangladesh.

What about you? Please join us and we will welcome your stories after the scheduled program, too. Please contact us by email for the zoom link or with questions. We also welcome ideas for future Unity Café gatherings.



Submitted to Ayr News by Jaellayna Palmer, January 2021

© Jaellayna Palmer 2021