Once again, I sit to reflect on what I can share in my Friday Corona letter. I have shared thoughts about hope, of lessons learned, on “being” and on the importance of a positive mindset.
This week I have thought a lot about rituals, celebrations and acts of kindness…and for our family this week, they were all bundled together!
As a form of physical and mental exercise, I have been spending a lot of time on our Peleton bike. On a recent ride, instructor Robin Arzon expressed her feelings of being robbed of our rituals during this virus. It really resonated with me.
As defined, rituals are our sequences of events, patterns and activities involving gestures, words, actions or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community. As The Conversation article shares, at times of uncertainty, we need rituals more than ever.
Our rituals of celebration, of burying loved ones, even the ritual of greeting someone with a handshake or hug have been redefined because of this virus. Although I do love traditions and celebrating our roots and heritage through basic rituals, I must confess that I am enjoying the opportunity to change it up a bit — to think differently.
Back to earlier this week – Monday, May 18th, was our son, Nicol’s, 21st birthday! For weeks he has been excited about what we would do, the gifts he would receive, the friends and family he hoped to see. For those who know Nicol well, you might surmise that his 21st birthday was a chosen topic of discussion quite often over the last few weeks. And, you would be correct!
I’ll tell you what – this was quite a 21st birthday which surpassed all of his expectations – and ours! He awoke to a fabulous and HUGE yard sign, a surprise from his Aunt Tracey, which read “Happy 21st Birthday Nicolas!” His afternoon began with two antique fire trucks, a surprise gesture from his Aunt Staci, AND the trucks proudly displayed “Happy Birthday” banners. Following that was a parade of honking cars with friends and family holding up signs, playing music and some even stepping out of their cars to dance!
Many friends specifically drove the cars they knew Nicol LOVED! Some special friends even showed up the day before with one of Nicol’s all-time favorite cars to “get the party started”. Our fabulous neighbors dressed as the Wiggles, one of Nicol’s favorite childhood rock bands.
It was truly a spectacular afternoon filled with joy and love. AND, the birthday celebration didn’t end there. After a healthy (haha!) and delicious celebratory dinner from Five Guys, Nicol joined his Zoom b-day party, created and organized by his Uncle Todd. All of the out-of-town relatives toasted Nicol, sharing their love and admiration. We ended the incredible day with scrumptious cookies dropped off by a loving cousin and Nicol read his cards and opened his gifts.
Our rituals have changed – that is for sure! But the thoughts, efforts and kindness remain. To me, that is what truly matters! The efforts of aunts and uncles, family and friends was heartwarming. The kindness overflowed throughout the day and beautifully showered this 21 year old with love.
Our birthdays, our graduations, our weddings and other events have become virtual, changing the way our rituals look. But the feeling of excitement, pride and love remain. If we “show up” and we find other ways to show kindness and love (as we have been challenged to do) our expression of love, pride and excitement can – and will – continue!
This virus can strip us of a lot of things and has created a loss felt so deeply by many. For those of you suffering, I send you my heartfelt love. BUT, the virus can also remind us to choose kindness, to love deeply and to find creative ways to celebrate and even grieve with those we love.
I’d like to wrap this letter by sharing how I am witnessing the kindness of our Main Street community. Last week, Karen Leggett, author, mother, colleague and friend, facilitated our book club virtual session. The book/movie we chose was Wonder. Wonder is an incredible example of just how impactful kindness can be and Karen beautifully expressed that in our discussion.
Dara Feldman has also shared the power of kindness by leading our Wednesday virtue sessions and reminding us of our important and worthy virtues. We witness kindness of our members, David Godoy and Jonathan Feifer, who shared their support and expertise with our staff and members. And Main Street member, Jessica Lipsher, who joins our Zoom programming with enthusiasm and joy uses the chat box to continually show her kindness and share her gratitude with our Main Street staff. It always gives us a boost.
Perhaps we should all take a page out of Jessica’s book. In this time of challenge, let’s show support and choose kindness. Let’s continue to raise a glass to celebrate our milestones and cherish our “new” rituals. Lastly, let’s remember to reach out our hands and wrap our love and virtual hugs around all of our community.
Cheers and Love to All,
This week’s golden nuggets!
- This moving and incredible video by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt. Raise a glass and lend a hand.
- A great article from The New York Times about mourning and celebrating our rituals.
Upcoming Main Street Virtual Events:
Summer 2020! No pools, no beach…NO PROBLEM! Main Street’s got your back and will keep your mind and body busy! Stay tuned for our summer virtual membership, which will launch June 5th! Here’s a little teaser of what’s in store:
Bridgit’s Travel and Adventure Series
Main Street Culture Club
The Entrepreneurship Project – 8-week series
Daniel’s Yoga and Mindfulness Series
Bake with Sharon!
True Respite event