A sense of ease

On friendship, warmth and gratitude post-vaccine

April was as hard as it was hopeful. Although I’ve enjoyed aspects of my pandemic solitude (and consider myself extremely privileged to have it in the first place) the never ending flatness of my days at home caught up with me in March and April. It was hard to find pleasure in anything anymore, even the things that once sustained me (baking, sewing, writing, practicing piano). I was just waiting. Waiting to be fully vaccinated. Waiting for things to change.

I really thought that my first forays out into the world post-vaccination would be suffused with a sense of giddy euphoria. After so many months of fear, turmoil and deep hibernation, I craved sunlight and ease. And then, this past weekend, warmth finally arrived along with a visit from (fully vaccinated) friends — friends we haven’t seen in more than a year.

We ate lunch in the park and talked about life. We ate ice cream. We made jokes. We hugged. And, contrary to my expectations, I didn’t feel giddy. I felt at ease. It was so easy to slip back into the comforting embrace of friendship, of people who know me well and have chosen to stay in touch through many moves over the course of the past decade.

Transitions are hard — I don’t want to erase that truth. Right now, many of us are re-evaluating personal boundaries and reckoning with trauma and the loss of loved ones. This transition still feels tumultuous and tentative for me in a lot of ways. But today, I am grateful. Grateful to have friends with whom I can so easily pick up where I left off, even after the year we’ve had. Grateful to be alive and well, and to have gained access to the COVID-19 vaccine when I did. Grateful to finally have a taste of the ease and companionship I’ve missed.

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