This blog features reflections on current affairs through the lens of my Quaker faith and practice and offers not only analysis but a perspective on hope, renewal, and reconciliation - a “lift”, as I call it - during these stressful, chaotic times.
I hope that you will use the Comments feature to participate with me and with each other. I believe it will be enriching to us all.
Yesterday I got my second Moderna Covid-19 vaccination, my so-called “booster” shot. Today I don’t feel too “boosted’ as my reaction to the shot has left me tired and achy. But I feel so fortunate to have had fairly easy access to the protection I assume these two boosted vaccinations offer, and I wish equal access to all the rest of us.
So the word “booster” has been running through my head all day. First of all, it’s kind of fun to think and say “booster" to yourself - try it! And then it also has a number of uplifting (pun intended) associations: booster seats, booster clubs, booster rockets, and booster cables to rescue us from feeling so helpless when the car engine won’t turn over in the shopping center parking lot. And the dictionary provides even more positive feedback. A booster, it says, “Is a promoter of a person, organization or cause” or “a source of help or encouragement.” We all need boosters - and we need to be one ourselves.
At this stage in the liminal process of sensing we are nearing the end of a very long and trying year of Covid shutdown, election instability, and personal and social isolation, we are feeling eager to be able to get those hugs from loved ones and sharing an in-person savory hot meal with friends. And we only have a week before we go back to daylight savings time, more daffodils and spring flowers, and even longer sunny days. Sounds like some good "booster therapy" is on its way
The counter mantra to all that we have missed during the pandemic is a nearly equal sensibility related to all we have gained and learned from being required to adapt to the failed assumptions of control and dependability of our pre-Covid lifestyles. I am amazed at both how much I have been able defer or do without.
And then there are the actual benefits. The Zoom conferencing is one of the best examples of what I believe will be a permanent, positive revolution in our communication systems and lifestyles overall, especially in accessing family, friends, and co-workers so efficiently and intimately. Today, for example, I was able to have a reunion with my three paternal-side cousins back in Ohio who I hadn’t seen in years and years. And I feel Zoom has the promise of liberating us in the future from time commuting to meetings and appointments in energy consuming car rides. You undoubtedly will have your own list of "Zoom gratitudes” as well.
The other special “boost” I have received these past months is that I will never again take for granted the importance of sharing meals together, or shedding an in-person tear and a good laugh, and the simple pleasures of conviviality (living together) and close companionship (literally “breaking bread together.”) Even the introverts will have to admit that although privacy and solitude have been a welcome respite from some aspects of shopping and milling around, we all are ultimately "pack animals” that need to feel part of a larger community - especially for we extroverts, of course!. I will leave it to you to enlarge you own list of current and anticipated “booster moments” in your lives that are cherished even more because of their absence this past year.
In conclusion, I think it is fair to say that this long year of the pandemic has provided an opportunity, at least for those of us who have not succumbed to illness, depression and despair, to be boosted by an enhanced and gracious appreciation for the very miracle of life that has been transforming and evolving all around us.