Downtown……. Adventure in a time of Covid by Inge Hatton

Viva70 is a community of older people ageing well. There’s no formula for this, as we’re all so wonderfully different, but there are  role models all around us. Most of us have at least 30 years in the 3rd stage of our lives and making the most of this phase is about what’s in our minds rather than what’s in our bank accounts. A good life can be a simple life made up of noticing the moments of joy, surprise, awe and adventures big and small.

This month we’re lucky to have articles written by members of our Viva70 community. Inge lives in Canada and sent through this lovely story of her recent visit to the ” Big City.” It resonates for so many of us revisiting familiar haunts after being locked- down due to the pandemic. Here’s Inge’s travelling tale……….

I have not been to Halifax since before COVID and then some months. Spontaneously this morning I decided, instead of going to garden, or go for a walk, that I would get dressed in city clothes and go to see a summer exhibition at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. I was happy that I’d made this decision and sang with Creedence Clearwater Revival at the top of my lungs- so as to speak- all the way to the city.

I was like a country – bumpkin dawdling along streets, looking up and down in astonishment at the new that had replaced the old. I recognised very little, except the street names which I followed because I knew that they would lead me to the place that I wanted to go….. the gallery…..

The exhibition was at times hard to look at because it was focussed on giving a voice, raising awareness, challenging the status quo and offering a fresh outlook on today’s society and political landscape- particularly the aboriginal and Black Lives Matter issues. We humans sadly have a great capacity to behave in inhuman ways.

Emily Falencki The Mira River, 2012

Now I needed some nourishment- emotional or otherwise. Clasping my falafel wrap from a great Lebanese take-out place I found a bench and people- watched while I munched with joy on the mingling of exotic flavours.

Although they have moved, I  managed to find the two art galleries which I have enjoyed in the past- wow how times have changed, neither of the galleries enjoyed the prominent premises they once had,  nor the quality of the artists that they once represented. What is happening on the art scene??! The best local art gallery in my community has much to be proud of –  a much broader selection of art and finer artists.

I just had to go into the Lululemon store where I saw young people spending half a year’s earnings in one hour. To be honest I could have done the same- but I am a crone- sometimes wise, so I looked, touched and walked out!

My fave coffee shop was still where I remembered it, so it was a brief stop there for a delicious tea and back to the car. Accompanied by Norah Jones’ more sedate music I made my way home- back to my country bumpkin life!

Thoughts wandered and I realised how my needs and desires  have changed as I’ve grown older. I once lived an urban, international city  life for more than 30 years.  Now I’m content to live by the coast in a town of two thousand  people with friends who have become precious and community activities that nurture  me and give meaning to my life.

Getting older while it has its challenges, also offers deep appreciation of the ordinary every day routines of life.

Feature Image with thanks to S. Migaj
  Words By Inge Hatton.
Before she retired, Inge worked as a psychotherapist and later, an art gallery owner. She was passionately involved in the birth of the Lunenburg Documentary Film festival  and other community arts programs. She lives happily by the sea in Nova Scotia and loves being a granny as well as restoring old homes and keeping fit and active.

16 July 2021 | Life-Style

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