This past weekend, I attend my first wedding during a global pandemic in my backyard. My neighbor had originally scheduled her wedding for mid-April when COVID-19 quickly changed everyone’s plans. After waiting a month, her and her fiancé invited my roommate and me to an intimate and socially distant ceremony in our connected backyards.

The wedding was a small pocket of joy during this time mired in fear and uncertainty. The weather thankfully held out, which was truly the Michigan weather gods smiling down on us and blessing this ceremony. Guests came dressed in their pandemic best and greeted familiar and new faces alike through masks. The pastor spoke of love and the newlyweds radiated delight at their new union.

I found relief in focusing my attention not on a screen or a new hobby, but on the hope in love and connection. Coming together with a small part of my Detroit community to celebrate a new beginning for my neighbor has been a high during a time of many lows. I’m thankful for this event for reminding me why I moved here in the first place-Detroit’s community and the hope we bring each other. What are you doing right now to connect with your community to find the joy?