If Momentum Is An Indicator

Matt Whalen

Published 7 March 2021

We turned a corner, albeit one with a long arc, so I have no idea what is actually around the bend quite yet. And I am no prophet, but if momentum is an indicator of the direction we are headed, we are headed in a good direction.

Dare I say, we are headed towards a future with small brunches amongst the homes, train rides to work, the occasional restaurant outing, and more frequent visits with family members. These are incredibly small events that none of us are taking for granted and will undoubtedly bring us much joy.

I recall exactly one year ago today, March 9th, when I sent an email to the assistants letting them know our community night was canceled. Community nights are a cherished event in L’Arche which usually bring about 40 of us, friends and strangers together for fellowship. If you need a reminder of how naïve we all were last March, the city of Chicago had yet to cancel the city wide Saint Patrick’s Day parade. We all knew so little back then. I take comfort knowing that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know much. Remember when the CDC recommended that we didn’t wear masks in public.

Fast forward a year later and we know a lot. We know about hand hygiene, positivity rates, PPP’s, PPE’s, sourdough bread, video calls, assessing risk, and building pillow forts. We are clearly moving forward equipped with resiliency and to be fair, fatigue. Our first very small in-person gathering amongst assistants was last Thursday. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves, so we just talked. We talked without any lag time due to poor internet connection. I understood every word each person said because there was no mic feedback (not Mic feedback – our Community Leader). One assistant brought a homemade sweet tahini sesame bread for us to share; pre-cut of course and out of this world.

It’s been nice to be in the present and look at the future again with some hope. The birds are chirping, the sun is out. If you are reading this and in Chicago, you know how brutal the snow was in February and how pleasant March has been thus far. Is this a sign of better days ahead?  As I said, I am no prophet, but if momentum is an indicator of the direction we are headed, we are headed in a good direction.