This is my new friend, Cecylia, standing behind me; we are in her beautiful garden, laden with bursts of colour and ripe citrus scents. It seems such a long time ago now, before covid, when we exchanged only courteous nods when out walking in our local neighbourhood.
When covid arrived, it was so easy to reach out and strike up a conversation for the first time, after two years of seeing each other on the local paths but never learning each other’s names. A polite approach introducing myself, was met with a welcome smile and a chat. I asked if Cecylia would mind if I checked in on her occasionally; we exchanged phone numbers, and so began a lovely friendship.
Initially I was in touch to see if she needed anything, it didn’t take long until I was sharing my grocery run and dropping items off to her doorstep. We got to know each other over “distanced coffee”, sharing many stories. My teenagers have been the beneficiaries of much home baking, to their delight.
Today seniors in Queensland are no longer in lockdown, however Cecylia and I continue to keep in touch every week. Now the encounters on the local paths involve stopping for a chat and a kind word about our day.
Before reaching out to Cecylia, I felt some anxiety about offering to help, thinking I may have been intruding. But that was certainly not the case! So glad I did. We both are.