I’m writing this article while sitting on my favourite bench overlooking the bay. It’s 8.30 in the morning.
I came here almost everyday during ‘lockdown’. It’s where I gave birth to many ideas for articles, themes for online worship, and topics for study. It became a very fertile place for the imagination during an unimaginable year.
It became a fertile place because it was an uncluttered space.
Stretching out before me was the horizon. Sometimes I could see it very clearly. Sometimes it was obscured by gathering clouds or distant rain. Sometimes the bay was like a sheet of glass and on other days a heaving swelling cauldron of short dark green waves capped with white. Sometimes I sat there in a T-shirt and shorts. Sometimes I sat there under 4 layers of clothing wearing a soft woollen beanie and huddled beneath a bright red umbrella.
Every day was different. Each day offering an opportunity for respite from Covid related constraints. Each day, a gift to be unwrapped slowly and appreciated for what it was and what it might be.
It’s hard to imagine that this time last year we were about to enter an extensive period of lockdown; close the church building and become a church on line.
What a year to leave behind, and I would really love to read some of your thoughts on 2020 – the year that was. Please, send them to me.
Thanks to some tough but good political decisions by Andrew’s government here in Victoria, we managed to suppress the spread of the virus and save many lives. But, as Premier Andrew’s expressed in nearly every daily press conference for weeks on end – this was only possible because all ( well most) Victorians did their bit. They stayed home. They respected the restrictions. They completely reorganised their family and working lives. We endured much for the sake of others and ourselves.
And, as part of all that, you, us, we, committed ourselves to stay together as a faith community using technology. Zoom enabled us to see each other, share our stories and faith perspectives, and discover how to be a faith community in a very new way. We also got to see what people had hanging on their walls! Now, I know it wasn’t the best option for some, so thank you for enduring it. But for many, it was a great experience – especially those who were able to be a part of our community whilst living overseas or interstate, or in other parts of Victoria.
So, let’s say farewell to a difficult year, but let’s not forget all the enriching experiences. Many people had an opportunity to detox from so many addictions in their lives. To take stock of life and make different decisions; sometimes because they had no other choice. Making space for other things. Space for letting go of stuff and not rushing into filling it again.
I know all too well that 2021 is going to be a very different year for each of us. It will no doubt have its fair share of surprises ( good and not so good) but the challenge is and will always be: how to regard each day as a gift – to be unwrapped slowly and appreciated for what it is.