Thoughts Along the Path . . .


I have a friend who retired this week from her day job. Over the years, that job did not define her, though obviously it consumed a large portion of her waking hours. Fortunately, she has other interests – some of which she pursued during her working years while some were “on hold” largely due to time constraints.

Without focusing on her specific situation, and without saying much about my own as a previously self-employed person, I am thinking about how people spend (or invest) their time. I’ve always liked the saying “It’s better to do nothing than to waste time” though one person’s “waste” may be another person’s dream.

Why am I mentioning this now? Regular readers of this newspaper and this column may recall the 100 Days of Service project held by the Baha’is of North Dumfries last year. In addition to our individual acts of service during those 100 days, as a group we identified a long-term project, raised funds, and did many other related activities. At last, on an especially happy day in September, we presented to Mayor Foxton a cheque earmarked for the purchase of equipment for an outdoor fitness circuit. And now, after a long winter of preparations, the equipment is finally ready to be enjoyed by anyone who goes over to the Eby Trail in Cowan Park.

During the project itself, I had the opportunity to meet and to work with Karen Winter, the Township’s Director of Leisure and Community Services. She was a pleasure to work with, though I sometimes wondered about her title and the word “leisure.” Grateful that our Township see “leisure” as important enough to employ someone to oversee community-wide facilities and activities, I do wonder what that word means in the context of a community. Is it what you do with your time off? When you’re tired? To become or remain healthy? For fun? When you’re not working at a job? Or are there yet other possibilities? Out of curiosity, earlier today I asked someone what they thought the word means. His answer was “I don’t know exactly, but I do know that I never seem to have enough of it.”

As the organizer of the Unity Café events here in Ayr, I decided to explore these ideas by inviting Karen to be the guest presenter at a Unity Café on 21 June at 7:30pm in the Seniors Lounge of the North Dumfries Community Complex. Hosted by the local Baha’is, this will be our first in-person gathering since the pandemic began, though we did have several via zoom during those two years. They were interesting – we heard stories and exchanged ideas. But the real purpose of a Unity Café is to build friendship and share the joy of connecting with others. After Karen’s presentation – which promises to be upbeat, engaging, and interactive - we will enjoy refreshments and socializing. After over 2 years of restrictions, we have more to celebrate than ever before. All are welcome. And you might even meet my newly retired friend.

For more information please send an email to .



Submitted to Ayr News by Jaellayna Palmer, June 2022