news&views Winter 2021 | Page 51

participate in sports . It was a great way to get to know about the new community we had moved into and to make connections with other people . Other friendships came from being part of the local volunteer fire department . Standing in a freezing cold creek while working together to extricate an injured person trapped in a vehicle , watching a huge brush fire advancing toward us while wondering how we would be able to stop it , seeing each other at our best and at our worst , created a strong bond which endures even though our firefighting days are over . Many friendships came through working in schools with people who shared the same passion to make a difference for our students against all odds . Working so closely with other people who also cared so much about the well-being of children made forging friendships inevitable . Now , I am happy to count as friends many people whom I have met through being part of ARTA . Sharing a history , a purpose , a vision of the world , and being willing to work together to make a difference for others is the connection between us . I should add that we also enjoy the time we spend together .
So , what can I say to those who are searching for friends ? How does one go about finding them and making a connection ? My best advice would be to examine those things that are most important to you . When you have identified these priorities , then engage yourself in activities that support those passions . Maybe it means joining a new club or activity , volunteering to sustain a cause that you are passionate about , or getting out and trying something just because it looks like fun . Perhaps that means reaching out to an old friend with whom you have lost contact . They probably would be delighted to hear from you . If you are not already a member of an ARTA branch , perhaps consider joining one . You will meet some great people there . I recently read the annual reports of all of the ARTA branches . It was amazing to learn how creative they have been , offering so many different activities and opportunities to socialize , despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic . Just imagine how much more they will be able to do when meeting in person once again !
Connections with other people are necessary to keep us healthy . Friendships , whether old friends , new friends , or kindred spirits , silver or gold , enrich our lives .

ARTAficial Flavours

I tried to find a tie to match my pyjama bottoms , but it was harder than you ’ d think .
news & views WINTER 2021 | 51