In this very unfamiliar time of the COVID-19 pandemic I’m doing a familiar activity. I’m walking. I’m walking in the places I have walked for many years, but now each step helps me push my mind toward calm and away from things that create doubt and fear. Because so many routines in our lives have changed, walking is now as necessary for my peace of mind as it is as a purely physical activity.
Enjoying the full trees and bright flowers; watching baby geese grow under mothers’ watchful eyes; observing a young child’s pride when learning to ride a two-wheel bike all remind me that formerly traditional designated spaces can have multiple purposes. Much happiness comes from being out of my confined spaces of home and office. I am learning to define safe spaces and take advantage of them as many others are doing.
Being with friends during this sequestered time reminds me of how valuable these relationships are. I am truly grateful for their continuous support and encouragement. As [actress] Carrie Fisher said, “My short list of long-term friends” is invaluable.
I am proud of the Atlanta Jewish community walking in lockstep to help one another during the pandemic and thankful for my colleagues who are working to keep all avenues and opportunities for education open around the world.
As I step out of 5780 and into 5781, my wishes and hopes are for a vaccine to eliminate COVID-19, and a more socially just and equitable world to be shared with my family and friends.
Rachel Miller is director of ORT America, Atlanta region.