Just a week ago, Sarah and I were able to meet at the Fedasil Arrival Centre known as Petit-Château Klein Kasteeljte. It was our first visit to the center since the lockdown that began in March of this year. We were so thrilled to be reunited with a place that has so much meaning and memory for us and to see the staff we have come to known and cherish. We made plans to offer several workshops for children to write poems and songs for a second “On the move” book that will be work on publishing at the start of 2021. Our hearts full, we parted ways at the entrance to the building in the afternoon.
Just a few days later, the center was closed again to volunteers, and we were left to wonder if we would be able to work with the children after all. I wrote in an email to Sarah not to give up hope and that we would find a way to navigate the ever-shifting reality in this surreal year.
Now we find ourselves each on different sides of the border. While I can easily walk from my home in France across the border into Belgium, it is more challenging to travel to Brussels on a weekly basis, especially with the recent restrictions being put into place. Restaurants and bars are closed for a month, and there is a new curfew from midnight to 5am. We believe that now more than ever our work is “essential,” but it is also a time to take care of our health and be respectful of others.
In concert with the darkness that seems to be always looming just ahead, the prediction this week is for rain. With such dynamic weather patterns where I live in northeast France, anytime there is a window without rain, I make sure to spend time outside. This morning I went for a walk around the farm fields, feeling the sun on my face, warming my body and soul. I felt so grateful for the sun and that I must really enjoy the time outside with the sun shining down on me. There are moments like this that serve as a reminder to cherish each moment (especially the joyful ones) and to support one another because there is so much uncertainty in life.
In this time of increasing restrictions—with the onset of fall and winter weather and the pandemic—it is important to remember those elements of life that bring joy. For this Monday on the move, we bring you a song that celebrates life and those elements of life that can bring us together. The inspiration for this song came from a pigeon with a broken wing at Petit-Château. It is a tribute to pigeons and also to all those who feel lost and need a little boost. We performed this song at the Royal Park in Brussels in July, so we share a little bit of summer sun as well.
In the spirit of solidarity, let us share this moment and support one another.
To read more about the writing of this song, visit: Guiding Song: The pigeon song
[About] The pigeon song
[Singing] The pigeon song