It was just another Friday in coronavirus isolation. I was keeping busy, occupied and out of trouble (not always easy for me). There was a knock at the back door and when I went to investigate a lovely young woman asked me if I would like some meals.
She was one of the staff (or parents) from the Australian Islamic College that is adjacent to where I live. They had decided to have a ‘cook-up’ earlier that morning, had packaged the meals and then went door-to-door in the rental village. Two meals of beef curry and rice, and a smaller container of dates. I gladly accepted.
Twenty minutes later, two young men presented themselves at the front door offering the same. I told them I’d already been given the meals. They just said, “Well, just pass them on to someone else who would like them”, which I did. What’s more, a friend was here fixing something on my computer and they gave him a meal too.
Everyone who came to my door (some younger, some older) were so pleasant and kind, even apologising that the meals could be a bit spicy! I’ve eaten half of one already (a good dollop of sour cream was helpful in reducing the spiciness); the dates were delicious, and I’m having the other half for dinner.
Most importantly, the kindness and the generosity of this community was astounding. I’ve often found that people of this faith are attacked for the nasty people that have terrorised the world in the name of Islam. Every country, nationality, race and religion have those who are extremists, and I don’t feel Australia is any different!
While coronavirus has been devastating, it has afforded the reconnection of our communities, providing opportunities for neighbours to get in touch with one another. I’ve been so grateful with such displays, of people going above and beyond to stay connected, and I can only hope this community spirit continues when our lives get back to ‘normal’.
I’ve had kindness come in a variety of forms — an ex-neighbour who brought a bag of groceries one Saturday, my friend who dropped in to do odd jobs that I can’t manage, my oldest grandson video calls me regularly now that we can’t get together in person … Yet, I wonder if this will continue when restrictions are lifted and the threat of coronavirus is gone. I sincerely hope so.
Even the smallest of gestures can make a huge difference to someone who lives alone, is financially struggling and would like some human contact. How wonderful will it be when we can hug our loved ones, have them visit and leave our homes. To all my friends, here and abroad, take care and continue to ‘spread the love’.
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