Each of us has experienced the pandemic in a very different way: the overload of work for some or the opposite for others with the isolation experienced by many people whatever their age; the constant changes in the timetable for adults and children; the “face-to-face” and “remote”, these new words that have entered our vocabulary; the reduction, or even abolition, of the limit between the professional and private spheres; the very trying conditions in a certain number of occupations, all of which require a great deal of physical and mental adaptability Grandparents have often been called upon to look after grandchildren while their parents have had to continue working.
The time for flexibility
And now it is time for the summer and a relaxation of health, it seems. A new horizon is opening up towards a return to a life more like our previous one. But let us not make this time of Covid a parenthesis in our lives. It is part of our personal life history, and it may have influenced it towards a narrowing, temporary or not, towards a deepening.
How to live the summer
So how do we live our summer time after these unusual months?
Time for rest
“Come away to a deserted place and rest for a while,” Jesus tells us (Mk 6:31). Some people are in great need of this, having experienced the overload described above or a solitude that requires them to see the world in a different way, in an open way. This will be a time of rest, of deeper prayer, peacefully, away from the agitation and worries of the last few months, with the rereading, the discernment of the consequent modifications of this life story and the fruits to be drawn from it for the months to come.
Time for encounter
We can also listen to another call: “Come, follow me! (Mt 19:21; Mk 10:21) in the dimension corresponding to what we want to live in EVS, “in the world”, and which we could then hear as follows: “Come, let’s meet, let’s go and do together”. Let us seek to rediscover conditions for living and meeting, active and more serene, on the way as Jesus did in the Gospel: to bring about these meetings or simply to welcome those that arise by investing our whole being in them. It is up to each person to discern according to who they are and what they have experienced in particular during the previous months. Perhaps a time for desert and a time for encounters? In previous summers, our life could be organised in this way.
Finding our own dynamics
But let us be aware that the pandemic can only colour our existence in a different way and give it a different dynamic: family life and/or friendships revisited in their multiple dimensions, participation in associative, cultural and sporting holiday proposals… shared in service and mutual aid. Above all, let us savour this taste for “being together” in a way of love and fraternity. Let us also take the time to comfort those who have experienced profound trials and ask us for this comfort. Let us not forget those who, despite the easing of health constraints, will remain in solitude because this is their usual condition of existence, with or without a pandemic. Let Jesus accompany us closely during these coming months.
Monique Barerre, SVECJ