I have a membership at a local gym where, in normal times, I try to work out at least three times a week. (I know, to look at me, you might not think so ) However, since COVID-19 has shut most places where people gather in numbers, including my gym, my husband and I are doing what many others are doing – we walk. We walk miles. Dave is more adept at this than I am but I try to get one walk a day – my husband goes for three.
In walking through our neighbourhood, I have noticed some things that didn’t exist before the pandemic. The French elementary school down the street from us has a message on their sign board out front – Ca Va Bien Aller – in English, Things Will Get Better. The message originated in Italy, one of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19 .
Another thing I’ve seen is the proliferation of rainbows that children have drawn and placed in the window for those passing by. This, I understand, started in Montreal. The symbol of a rainbow is, of course, used for several very important causes and reasons. In the case of the pandemic it was selected because, as one student put it, “Rainbows are bright colours and I think bright colours bring positivity, it puts smiles on people's faces.”
Ann Weems, in her book, Reaching for Rainbows, offers this prayer poem:
I’D WRITE FOR YOU A RAINBOW
If I could, I’d write for you a rainbow
And splash it with all the colours of God
And hang it in the window for your being
So that each new God’s morning
Your eyes would open first
to Hope and Promise
If I could, I’d wipe away your tears
And hold you close forever in shalom.
But God never promised
I could write a rainbow,
Never promised I could suffer for you,
Only promised I could love you.
That I do.
We have some good news from the church to share with you. First, the Tulipathon for Multi-Faith Housing last weekend went extremely well. Sue Smarkala writes this:
Many thanks Woodroffe! We raised $400 this year for Multifaith Housing Initiative's Tulipathon; that is an increase from last year of about $250. As your representative, I walked 3 km around my neighbourhood on Sunday, May 31st. Attached is a picture of the 'poster' I wore on my walk...it does say WOODROFFE on it! All Tulipathon walkers across Ottawa did the same. We blasted through the $50,000 goal set by Multifaith Housing - donations sit at $52,305 at this time. You can donate until June 30th to add to the Woodroffe amount here.
Monies from this fundraiser all go to subsidizing MHI tenants' rents.
Next year I hope to have a few more of us walking together for Affordable Housing!!
Next, we have a received a generous donation from Morning Glory, one of the church’s renters. Many of our renters have been calling to make sure that we keep them on our list for the time when the church building is able to reopen, as they are keen to be part of the activities presented at Woodroffe. They find a place of welcome with us and their participants enjoy using our facilities.
I hope that you are still keeping well, and although the better weather is here, please don’t forget to keep your social distancing practices up. Things will get better.