On the Equinox, Let's Look Inward
I love the autumnal equinox, how it ushers in cooler weather and the garden winds down. I love the earlier darkness with its permission to settle in, cook something that would have overheated the kitchen two months ago, pour a glass of red wine. The change of seasons is welcome, as is the invitation to turn inward.
I've always been a fan of turning inward, being quiet. This year, more than others, I see the difference between myself and friends who are more extroverted. Another quiet winter with little social interaction doesn't phase me as this pandemic grinds on. The summer's options to get together with people outside were enough. In fact, some summer weekends felt like old times as our calendar filled with engagements. We saw our kids a lot, spent time with several vaccinated friends, found restaurant patios on which to dine. I'm okay with staying home again.
What I'm not okay with is the number of people who still choose not to get vaccinated. I'm not okay with so many unvaccinated people getting so sick with COVID that hospitals can't find beds for people with other life-threatening illnesses. I'm not okay with hearing continued arguments about personal freedom, about my-body-my-choice (stolen directly from women's health advocates - a major ironic twist) as a reason not to mandate vaccines. The research behind the current vaccines was years in the making as scientists studied mRNA vaccine potential. That researchers had such information before the pandemic hit is what allowed them to come up with the vaccines that apply to COVID so quickly.
Go here to learn about mRNA vaccines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/mRNA.html?s_cid=11344:mrna%20vaccine:sem.ga:p:RG:GM:gen:PTN:FY21
As we slide into another winter with COVID still being spread on a grand scale while a significant portion of our population tries to pretend everything is fine, I'm shutting my door. I'm fluffing my pillows, stocking the pantry, drawing boundaries. I'm finding my own healthy balance. For those who are vaccinated and dreading this coming winter's challenges, thank you for being vaccinated. It was and is the right thing to do. Staying home isn't so bad. Turning inward can have its surprises. Like the garden that slumbers for the winter months, we, too, can rest for a little while. And maybe in that slumber, some old dreams might resurface, send us on a new path. We have already learned that "going back to normal" is not a realistic goal. Redefining normal is what needs to happen.
Welcome, Autumn. Work your magic with all of us.