April 20, 2020

Dear Members,
We are now into month 2 in our lock down and there appears to be no end in sight. There will be no going back to the world that we knew. What we can be sure of however is that CB55+ will be there for us when this ordeal is over and will be the community organization that we all know and love. In the meantime we will be here for each other by continuing to keep in touch and offer support and connection to the lives and events we enjoyed there.

We are attempting to maintain some of the continuity that you are accustomed to. An example of this is Barb Waldner appearing from “outer space” to present the wonderful armchair travelogue to Russia that we missed in March courtesy of Bob Greig. Hopefully more will follow.

We would also love to hear from some of the Activity leaders as to if and how they are able to connect with their groups. We would love to know how Men’s Fitness is going through Zoom?

We are working on providing more online options including the newly launched Cordova Bay 55+ Facebook page. We hope many of our members will take advantage of this opportunity to share interesting and sometimes amusing posts.
Here is an update from Barb Waldner:
Another week has gone by and I trust everyone is keeping well.  Miss our fun Tuesday times together.  My story today is ‘specially for you dog lovers.
 An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard.  I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of.  He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head; he then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep.  An hour later, he went to the door and I let him out.  The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour.  This continued off and on for several weeks.  Curious, I pinned a note to his collar: “I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful, sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.”  The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar: “He lives in a home with 6 children, 2 under the age of 3.  He’s trying to catch up on his sleep.  Can I come with him tomorrow?”
Hmm, this story could be taking place today in many homes where parents are isolated with their children!
Best to all.  Barb
Adapting to what is being called the “New Normal” is a challenge. The poet Wm. Stafford says “your job is to figure out what the world is trying to be”. We are told that in China and New York and in many other countries the air is now 50% less polluted with fewer cars on the road and that fish have returned to previously dead lakes, streams and rivers in many locales.  Our current confinement is teaching us that we need fewer things but we need each other more.

Recently one of our members shared how she has found time during these weeks to update her address book, active for the past 20 years.  She discovered that many of the contacts are now dead and many others have been long forgotten. She then decided to try reconnecting with some of the forgotten ones, one each day. Wonderful conversations resulted and memories revived. She also tackled boxes of old photos and more memories and stories came to light.

 All of us have fascinating stories and so the idea of a “Story Tree” evolved. As stories from our lives are recalled we can place them on an imaginary tree waiting to be told. The suggestion is that for every storyteller we need a listener. We hope to connect our members who have a story to share with another who would like to be a listener. Possibly the two may never have met. There is wisdom in the saying “Strangers are just friends who have never met” so don’t short change yourself when invited to connect with someone you don’t know.  Sue, Jan and Patricia have offered to collect the names and information for each of these roles and their numbers are at the bottom of this message. We hope many new friendships will develop as a result.

Hopefully you are able to get out and enjoy the abundance of new sounds, scents and colour of this wonderful season. To walk on the beaches and stroll through parks and woods. What only weeks ago was dormant and seemed lifeless is bursting with new life. We are reminded that nature is faithful and those words are the seeds of our hope. If you are feeling lonely or sad perhaps recalling the words of this poet will soothe your soul.
The Peace of Wild Things.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Wendell Berry

We hope you will have a peaceful stress free week. Know that we are all in this together during these strange times and that “this too shall pass”.

Here is the closing poem for your reflection.
 From the Covid response team, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
When you go out and see the empty streets,
the empty stadiums, the empty train platforms,
don’t say to yourself, “It looks like the end of the world.”…

What you’re seeing is love in action. 
What you’re seeing, in that negative space, is how much we do care for each other,
for our grandparents, our parents, our brothers and sisters,
for people we will never meet.
People will lose jobs over this.
Some will lose their businesses.
And some will lose their lives.
All the more reason to take a moment, when you’re out on your walk,
or on your way to the store, or just watching the news,
to look into the emptiness and marvel at all of that love.
Let it fill you and sustain you.
It isn’t the end of the world.
It is the most remarkable act of global solidarity we may ever witness.

From your Board of Directors,
Cordova Bay 55+.
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If you would like to communicate with us directly please reply to this email or contact
Sue Jergens at sjergens@hotmail.com (250)479-2226,
Jan Grewar at jangrewar@gmail.com (250)658-2297 or
Patricia Houston at phouston@telus.net (250)381-0656.
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Cordova Bay 55 Plus Association
#1-5238 Cordova Bay Road,
Victoria, BC, V8Y 2L2
Telephone: 250-658-5558
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