It was a great weekend for family and community – getting back to ‘normal’ after Covid, or during Covid (the idea that we are past the pandemic is still up for discussion) means that everyone is getting back out there, in what ever way seems best for them. We are still wearing masks on the ferry, but for the first time in a long time I sat in a cabin full of people, I ate in a restaurant at a table of twelve, and I co-hosted a workshop for a group of people who sat next to each other and were okay about sharing scissors.
The workshop was part of a series of events hosted by Appin Aid – a group set up in our sister community on the mainland in Appin to support people during the Covid pandemic and is now supporting people to get back out into their communities. It was a wonderful and important thing to be part of. I have a big family and we were lucky not to suffer too much with loneliness or isolation during the lockdowns, I didn’t experience too much anxiety coming out of lockdown, and as restrictions have lifted, I have been (mostly) confident about being back in public spaces and big groups of people. But this hasn’t been – and still isn’t – the case for everyone, and for a lot of people the world is still an unsettled and unwelcoming place. I was proud to be part of providing an opportunity to be social again, to go out a see old friends and meet new people.
What a lovely morning we had! People were invited to come and let me indulge my love of soap making by talking about the process, and then to choose, wrap and gift box a bar of soap to take home with them. We shared important skills (box folding and ribbon tying, making wax seals, setting up a charging station for an electric car at home, teaching Grade 2 maths) and chatted over tea and cake.
I was so pleased with the outcome of the day: each box was beautifully crafted and unique, the conversation was easy and interesting, and everyone left smiling and happy with something they had made simply for the joy of it.
I hope you get to experience ‘getting back to normal’ in the way you choose and at your own pace – but remember to lean on your community, whatever that looks like for you. That’s what they’re there for.