Friday, March 26, 2021

Here it comes

This morning Amy and I were out in the yard attempting to train our cat to come when we call him (status: ongoing) when a stiff breeze lifted and cut west to east and chilled the already chilly air. There are few stronger indicators of the time of the year; no one in this part of the country needs a calendar to know when it's March, the sometimes pleasant, sometimes surly swing month between winter and spring. The moment felt acutely in-between, a kind of a hinge, and without willing it I recognized, or anyway felt, the significance in my bones: we're between Covid vaccine shots, as are many, though not nearly enough. Our second shot, staged and administered again in the large Convocation Center on campus, marshaled, I'm hoping, by the same heroic local National Guard unit, arrives next month, and I couldn't be more grateful for and receptive to a sign of Spring, of moving on. We've all felt curiously liminal the past twelve months, one foot in the overused and taken-for-granted "normalcy," one foot in the under-experienced and unwelcome "new normal." That my vaccines arrive along with Spring is a coincidence, and a precious analogy or, worse, metaphor, if I were to insist on making one, and while I'm at it, I'll leave alone the symbolism of cutting away the winter growth in our yard. I'm resisting expressing too much gratitude in public these days—mindful of the unfortunate swath of the country that's still pining for the vaccine, and of the potentially rough weeks ahead as more and more businesses open and maskless folk head in and out—and reading more into a cold late-March breeze than I really ought. Yet my in-betweenness in that moment never felt more graphic, nor more hopeful. Here it comes.

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