It has been a week of visiting – catching up with folk I haven’t seen for a while, doing things I haven’t done for a while. Some will appear on the blog over the coming weeks (once I track down photos, or think a bit more about what I want to say), but today I am reflecting on the idea of visiting in itself. I went (a sweet visit, my first for ages) to today’s meeting of the ACCBC (which is now called something else, but I can’t remember what) at the South West Community Centre, where the topic of the day was conviviality and visiting people. It was fantastic to see this interesting, dynamic group of folk again, and to hear their stories of visits that made a difference, or didn’t, but which provoked reflection or stories. I felt very grateful to be there – and that we can meet at all in these covid times.
Some themes to emerge were: The challenges of connecting with people – even those we ‘know’ – the story of the trying to connect with a loved father, but not knowing how, or being able to; the Covid-related stories (visiting on Zoom; not being able to visit dear friends interstate who are struggling with health problems – the pain the pain; and perhaps my favourite story of the day, of the grandchild who yells at her mother to ‘open the door! why don’t you open the door!’ when she sees her granddad visiting at the window during lockdown). The generosity of visiting – the woman who visited a friend in a psych ward and really struggling, three times a week for 10 weeks and took her out to lunch each time; the Aboriginal people from remote country who had too many folk who wanted to make a visit, so bought another (cheap) car so that everyone could go; finding a friend around the corner through volunteering. The value of persistence in visiting – the working out of things over time; eventually sharing a drink with a person it has taken time to get to know; the building of trust and bonds with time – meeting new people too.
Afterwards I came north on my weekly visit to dad’s. We had a late lunch of toasted sandwiches and a new neighbour dropped in – another visit. Later I went to see… the chooks – today’s post starts with a photo of my favourite (and now very old) hen, known as Lemon (as she used to escape the hen house and roost next to the lemon tree). It’s always a treat to see her!
(The above photos are of the people attending today’s session – I can’t work out how to caption the pictures in this new WordPress editing program – so they will have to remain nameless – but it gives an idea of the day and the people)