Vaccine Spring, 2021
Spring comes late sometimes. The vaccine spring of 2021 has come later than most. Many parts of the country and the world still huddle indoors, waiting. But spring is here in Seattle, and I’m slowly venturing into the bright air outside.
Many things changed over the long pandemic winter. In my home, we lost peace, sleep, certainty. We lost too many people. We gained a baby who is now seven months old. We sold one place, bought another, finished renting yet another. Now we live in a warren of slowly dwindling boxes, and we’re beginning to color in the walls with bright paint.
The world outside is strange and new to a baby. The world outside feels strange and new to me as well. We dig our toes through clover and dandelions and dirt. We walk the stroller slowly down the road, finding more careful paths. Everything feels tender, fragile, not yet fully real. It feels right to move at a baby’s pace.
Written words come at a baby’s pace, too. A strange thing to say, since she has neither words nor writing yet, and keyboards are more edible than useful to her. But my pace is her pace. When she demands we sit on the floor beside my desk and crinkle a plastic water bottle together, that is what we do.
Yet words stir. I hear them rustling their wings, bumbling in and out of cardboard nooks. If I sit still for long enough–if the baby sleeps for long enough–I can catch a few on my fingertips and feed them through the keyboard. They hum and buzz, legs fuzzy with possibilities, as the blanket of boxes and to-do lists thins. Little patches of open space have begun to appear, and the breeze floats pollen through the window.
Nothing is ready yet. Nothing is ripe. I’m not sure what seeds these last two years planted, let alone what will grow. But, this cautious July, I’ve finally begun to cultivate again.
Are you, too, poking your nose out of your cave? Are you creating? Or do you still wait, worried and restless and hoping?