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Seven Months Into the Pandemic and I’m…Looking to the Moon

1. Seven months in, and I'm a moon gazer. Summer in July spent on my in-laws front porch, facing southwest. Months after not seeing or hugging them (we still don’t), we sat gazing into the mid evening, pre-sunset sky and took stock of the moon.

Every night, it appeared later, lower in the horizon and further south. or so it seemed. As a novice astrologer, I could discern the shape (gibbous or crescent) and where it fell in its cycle (waxing or waning), but not much else. It seemed like a mystery.

But I could always count on its rising in some form, even if it was not at night, which I’ve often expected.

2. Seven months in, and I'm run/walker. I love the run/walk. Obsessed. Pre-babies life (not too long ago), I pooh-poohed it.

Felt like walking was being “soft”, somehow undercutting my identity as a runner. Returning to the run post baby #2 (and a groin strain, thank you, relaxin) I relish in the walk. The self-care reminder it brings. The pause it allows me to take in order to reset and “notice everything”. That has become my grounding mantra in these unsettled times.

Notice everything. The feeling of the sun. The changing of the leaves of the trees. How the run feels different at different times of day, as the seasons blend into each other. First winter, then spring, to summer, now fall.

The pain in my lungs. The stress in my body. Hoping if I notice it, I can acknowledge it, name it. Then let it go.

3. Seven months in, and I'm owning my identity as a mother. After Maya, my first child, I pretended to see glimmers of my past life. Similar routines of long days teaching/dog walks/dinner prep/long runs on the weekend or training runs before the sun.

Now after Ari, my second, everything has shifted. I’ve been forced to embrace the ebb and flow between rhythms; resistance leads to struggle and disappointment.

But I am able to soak in the sweetness more too: the weight of his body as we sway cheek to cheek singing, Dear Ari Thomas, what to say to you? The light in his eyes when he giggles. The joy of discovering something for the first time.

I am forever changed by all this: hopefully softer towards my family and myself. But also a believer that there is still something out there for me—the moon and the run—no matter the form it currently takes.

Read more Seven Months into the Pandemic essays.

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