Spring is my favorite time of the year. After the cold Pennsylvania winter, complete with long dark nights and never-ending gloomy days, the buds on the trees and the golden daffodils bring a lightness to my heart. The warmth of the sun, the birdsongs, and the return of blue skies give me hope. We’ve survived the darkness and are moving into the light.
Last spring, of course, was different. My plans to browse the garden centers and home improvement stores—not to mention my plans to travel—were put on hold. The solitude of winter leached into spring and then summer. And then fall. In fact, 2020 felt like one long winter. How many of us have said it was like living in the movie Groundhog Day? Day after day. Week after week.
This year feels different too but for a different reason. Spring 2021 (for me at least) feels brighter. The flowering trees are more beautiful. The green grass is brighter. The sunshine and blue sky, more blissful.
I received my second vaccine (Pfizer, in case you’re wondering) on April 14. This coming Wednesday will be two weeks. I’m seriously considering naming April 28 as my rebirth day. It signifies the start of life anew. Selective hugs. Family gatherings without panic attacks. Plans for weekends away with my husband.
There’s a lot of talk about a return to normal. I don’t see it as such. I appreciate every little thing so much more than I used to. The smell of my morning coffee and the taste of chocolate because so many of my friends and family who had Covid still can’t access those senses. The feel of a spring breeze on my face because the dear friend I lost to the virus can no longer enjoy that sensation.
Even the pleasure of browsing the home improvement store, which I haven’t done yet but look forward to after my rebirth day, is something I will no longer take for granted. I’m ever so grateful for online shopping, but let’s be honest. I’m sick of it.
And while I don’t think I ever really took book festivals and conferences and the chance to meet my readers for granted, I’m absolutely giddy to be making plans for this fall. A library event, a small festival, teaching a workshop with my students in the same room with me…I can’t wait! I’m looking forward to them with an exuberance I haven’t felt since my debut launch.
What about you? Does this spring feel more springish than usual to you too? What plans if any are you making to celebrate?
Autumn is my favorite time. Weatherwize this spring has come early, but even though we both have our Covid-19 vaccines, we are still hunkering down given the spread of new variants. It’s nice that stores are open, and I will do a quick shopping, but no browsing quite yet.
Jim, my main issue with autumn is that it only lasts 10 minutes and then the Arctic blasts of winter are here!
I mentioned in this month's newsletter that spring seems more welcome this year. I might even (gasp!) get to do an in-person book launch in August!
So well said, Annette. I’m a day behind you in vaccines – my second Moderna was April 16th, and rebirth is the perfect way to express the cautious expectation of renewed contact. Well done, and congratulations!
I did curbside errands yesterday: the annual village recycling day, expired drug drop at the police department, and library drop off. Not one person wore a mask. The COVID variants are here, and people are refusing to get their second shots. Very discouraging.
A lovely post, Annette. I hadn't thought about rebirth, but that sounds right. My day was about two weeks ago, and I wrote SAFE on my calendar!.
Liz, I hope you can do the in-person launch. I'll definitely be there!
Kait, only a few more days!
Edith, thank you. Looking forward to seeing you again!
Margaret, I'll still wear my mask and follow protocol, but as I understand it, those of us who are two weeks beyond our second shot are safe from serious illness, even from the new variants. It's the non-vaccinated who are at risk. And it remains to be seen whether those of us who are vaccinated can transmit the virus, so the mask-wearing is to protect the unvaccinated, including the very young. It's still wise to be cautious. But spending time with other fully protected friends and family is safe. And I don't think I'll suffer the panic attacks I had pre-vaccine when I'm out in public.
Annette, you're so right, it does seem brighter! My second shot is TOMORROW and I cannot wait.
Here in CT we've done a good job immunizing - 38% of adults over age 16 and 80% of those over 75 have been vaccinated. But while months ago one had to make an appointment to get a vaccine, now there are walk in clinics and there doesn't seem to be the same urgency. People are pretty good about wearing masks.
In between edits I've been doing a lot of walking - soaking up the sun and the sight of all the blooming trees!
Shari, here in Pennsylvania, we started out embarrassingly slow. I think at one point we were 48th or 49th in distribution (which is why I went to Ohio to get my shots). Now we've caught up and are having the same issue of supply outpacing demand. My hope is that those who are hesitant will see the rest of us don't sprout second heads and will decide to join the ranks of the immunized.
We did start out slowly to distribute the vaccine in Pennsylvania, but now anyone who wants one can get it easily, and the problem is more the vaccine refusers. My retirement community is now 98% vaccinated, me included.
While I am all in favor of everyone eligible getting a vaccine, I do understand the reluctance of especially young people who are wary of side effects, perhaps years from now. Medical treatments sometimes do raise ugly heads (remember thalidomide? radiation treatment of thyroid?) not to mention situations like the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. Expediated testing doesn't inspire confidence.
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