About 6 hours before sitting down to write this post, I was extremely fortunate to receive my first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. My husband, Andy, and I both became eligible on the same day and were lucky enough to find two open appointments at the same time at the United Center arena.
The site, where thousands of Chicagoans are vaccinated each day, is run by FEMA and the National Guard. Walking up to the expansive array of white military tents, it felt very much like we were going to a concert or a basketball game—which we’ve done countless times there in the past—but the anticipation and excitement was even greater. Funny how going to get our shots together felt like our first real “romantic” date in a year.
The uniformed soldiers who registered us and administered our shots had a calm air of jadedness, undoubtedly because the novelty of the experience wore off for them long ago. But for us, it was thrilling. Deeply moving even. We subtly fist bumped after the deed was done, then took a selfie outside because we know this is an occasion we will not soon forget. As we left the scene, feeling so empowered and relieved, masked ushers shouted, “Thanks for coming out today!” as if we hadn’t been counting the minutes until this momentous day for months.
The day we landed our appointments was one of my happiest in recent memory. Happy in a giddy, uncontrollable laughter and dancing kind of way. Relief mixed with excitement and anxiety and adrenaline and joy and thinking about the future and also sorrow for the people who never got to see this day. The feeling I settled into after the initial ecstasy passed reminded me of the way I felt when each of my kids slept through the night for the very first time: suddenly, the clouds part and you feel optimistic for the first time in months that the future is going to look a whole lot brighter. In a word, it is hope.
Spring has always been my favorite season because of the hope and potential it embodies. Early spring flowers break through the ground when the air is still chilly because they are certain warmer days are coming, and they always do come. Summer is fully realized bounty, but spring is the promise. And this spring, as the vaccine rollout expands, that hope is even more palpable and urgent.
To commemorate the arrival of spring, I’ve gathered my favorite spring jewelry that sings with bright colors and floral motifs. I can’t believe that in just a few short weeks, I may be able to wear this jewelry out to dinner with friends, something I’ve longed for and fantasized about so much during the past year at home:
Hope you all get to enjoy these early spring days while they last! Soon enough we’ll be lamenting the summer heat…