As this pandemic grips our nation and world, this break from the routine pushes everyone into moments of discomfort. How we respond will define us both as an individual and the collective us as a community.
“This isn’t the first adversity our city has faced,” says Rabbi Joshua Lief. “Wheeling has a 250-year history and faced many challenges in those years.” Lief shepherds Wheeling’s Temple Shalom, founded in 1849, it is West Virginia’s oldest Jewish congregation.
And indeed, the Rabbi is correct. Wheeling persisted through the Civil War, World Wars, The Great Depression, floods, collapse of steel and coal, and even a prior global pandemic, The Spanish Flu. “It is the people of this community who have been bold, overcoming challenges, since our city’s founding in 1769,” reminds Rabbi Lief. Community resilience is a collective force. It is distilled by time through the people who experience the events and those who later tell their stories.
Adaption and Inspiration in Wheeling
“As a yoga studio we thrive off of personal connection,” says Lindsay Schooler owner of Happy Goat Yoga (HGY) in the North Wheeling neighborhood. “We feed off of each other’s energy as we move.” Schooler says we should all use this abnormal time to do some investigation about how we can improve our relationships, our work habits, question whether the job we have (or had) suits us.
“Go within, it’s what we teach. We are being offered an opportunity to look at the bigger picture of what is going on and realign our priorities,” says Schooler. “Be mindful of the first thoughts you think in the morning,” encourages Schooler. “Let them be good, let them be gratitude. Love yourself when you first wake up in the morning.” These are the keys to battling a stressful day of working from home, wrangling kids, and feeding a family.
Both Temple Shalom and Happy Goat Yoga have taken to social media to engage with their congregants and patrons, respectively.
“What will we carry with us out of this crisis?” says Lief. “That is the question we must all ask ourselves. We must ask it on a personal level, we should ask it as a family, ask it as a business owner, ask it as a community. As a congregation, Temple Shalom will carry forward our online services and teachings as a way to engage in making the world a better place as we have done for the last 170 years.”
Schooler’s final piece of advice to everyone is, “Get outside and enjoy nature! By all means, safely get outside with members of your family and plant your feet in the grass. Put your feet in some water if it is warm enough, lean against a tree. Nature therapy is the best therapy we have right now.”
Stay in touch with the Wheeling CVB as you begin to make your summer travel plans, www.VisitWheelingWV.com.
Wheeling Summer 2020