So much has changed…

Mixed-media collage – 11 x 14 on canvas paper

I love it when I open my laptop on a Monday morning and discover somewhere between getting ready for a dinner party and my early morning scribblings, my keyboard shows remnants of last nights culinary endeavours.

In this case, a couple of drops of herb-infused olive oil and a basil leaf from the Phyllo Tomato pie I made as a first course lay in a solidified puddle at the edge of my mouse pad.

I keep my laptop on the counter when I’m cooking. Long ago, with the advent of online recipes, I mostly stopped using hardcopy. I still love to browse through a lusciously designed cookbook full of artfully lit photographs and mouth-watering recipes. But online is so much more convenient.

I do think though that I may want to keep my laptop a little further away from the action. Though their four-legged brethren might enjoy a basil leaf soaked in garlic, rosemary and thyme-infused olive oil, I don’t think it’s good for mouse-pad’s digestive track.

****

Covid has changed so much.

B.C. (before covid), holding a dinner party was an almost every-weekend event in our home. We both love to entertain and I love to set a beautiful table.

With Covid’s arrival it’s become a much rare and momentous occasion, along with a lot of deliberations about the pros and cons and who’s.

After C.C.’s bout in hospital, a slow recovery and the fact connection is good for his soul, as well as health, we decided to hold a small gathering with two other special couples.

While the enjoyment of setting the table, planning the menu and cooking the meal remains the same, we no longer view a potential guest list through the lens of how many couples should we invite? 4? 6? And we don’t deliberate as much about ‘will this be a good mix of people?’. Now, our deliberations focus on other considerations like, “How big is their bubble?” “Are they vaccinated?”

Even the menu takes Covid into consideration. Shared plates have gone the way of a virus-free world and I’ve had to increase my supply of appetizer plates, small forks and knives (not all that big a hardship. I LUV pretty dishes!) so that everyone gets their own fork and cutting knife for the charcuterie.

Even the welcoming at the door has changed. When guests arrive they most still come baring a bottle of wine or a gift for the house. They also step through the door with the declaration, “We took the test! Negative!”

And hugs? Even with a negative test I’m hesitant.

Perhaps that is the greatest change of all… the constant, worry-riddled inner mind chatter of… “Is it safe?”

And yes, we could forgo all form of entertaining, but somehow, that feels like Covid has won.

Life comes with risks. It’s all in how we measure both the risk and our tolerance along with our need for social connection.

And being with good friends. Laughing and telling stories on one another, sharing a meal around a candlelit table — ah yes. These are the happenings that make life so rich and memories so deep.

We were six for dinner last night. Old friends. Family.

We laughed and giggled. We teased one another as only those who share long histories together do. Some of the stories told were probably repeats from dinner’s past.

And it didn’t matter.

We were gathered around a table savouring the connections we crave so much.

Take that you miserable virus! You may have forced us to change a lot of things in our lives, but the one thing you will never change is the joy we feel when we are all connected.

Namaste.

_____________________

About the artwork

I also spent time in the studio this weekend working on another piece for my #SheDaresBoldly series.

Waaaay too much fun!

And the quote…. may we all never compromise our truth!

7 thoughts on “So much has changed…

  1. Loved this Louise and can so relate. I am a hugger by nature, and I have found the ‘physical disconnect’ among the most difficult aspects of the pandemic. But as you say, connection—in whatever form—is vital to our sense of joy and wellbeing.

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  2. I loved the painting and how you made her bright and beautiful, along with fierce and bold, amazing shades of truth!

    It is so precious to now get to meet those that we are able to, and it was so good to read how much thought and attention you put into this gathering. Very happy for you.

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  3. oh I so agree with all you said here, Louise. Contrary to you ppl we in our small country seem to be less afraid and as long as all ‘concerned’ are vaxxed and some boostered already, we share the ‘nuts and thingies’ from a common bowl. We have however also stopped serving a large bowl of dip and make these servings ‘individually’ – and with some of them (huggers like me) we share one hug when they arrive – with others where fear raises its ugly head, we just leave it at a light touching of the sleeve or arm. But we do seem to be more relaxed and I’m so glad and thankful for this.
    My son however, he’s not even visiting, he’s too afraid of any actual contact…. it’s his choice and we have to accept his views too.
    Love your collage. Your women get fiercer and prouder by the week 🙂

    I also ‘cooked’ the keyboard of my fold-back iPad twice on the stove….. 3 or 4 keys are missing and I have to ‘kick’ the raw underside of them – but it still works. I don’t use the iPad for recipes but for watching series I have no time for otherwise…. it’s still fun even though I’d prefer to have a neat and tidy keyboard 😉

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