In so many ways, this season is my favorite time of year. I love the change in the leaves, the easy routine we get into for school, the preparation for a feast with the family that comes to join and of course the switch in clothing. Every fall my middle daughter and I long for the switch, we count down the days until sweaters and winter hats can be added into our clothing rotation. For myself and my girls sweaters equal coziness. It is a time when it gets darker outside and with that comes fires in our fireplace and snuggling around it. However, this season has been marred by the creeping Covid-19 numbers and the election. Every day this week I have woken up and waited to hear the election results as well as reading about new Covid cases in my town. As the numbers go up I fear for new restrictions that will keep our already homebound family more isolated. Somehow I have allowed these two negative storylines to dictate my love of this season. Then last night, while sitting by the fire, dressed in our sweaters and hats (outdoor fireplace) my daughter snapped a photo of us and it reminded me that nothing is really in our control except the moments that make up our lives.
The choices we make are the moments we have. Once we choose who to vote for and do our part, we have no control over who will win the election and how it will be handled. Aside from choosing to wear a mask and being careful, we have no control over the Covid cases in town. So, every moment I choose and that moment shapes the next choice and the next.
As I look at the photo of my daughter and myself, I know that I chose that moment to smile, to give up the fear and to live in the moment with a very happy girl who still gets excited to eat dinner outside, watch football with her dad and wear her rainbow sweater. I know that what we face as a community is an overwhelming fear of the future. It is a scary time but it is also a time for us to get past the fear. To lean into it, acknowledge that we have it and figure out how to live healthy through it.
For me, living through the fear is wearing my sweater and choosing to enjoy the sunrise, the leaves falling and a warm cup of coffee. It is choosing to hear my daughter’s laughter and know it’s pure perfection. It is choosing to see the beauty in everything around me even when things are out of my control. But most importantly it is choosing to be present in every moment.