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Natural Awakenings New York City

Fall’s Fresh Breath

Sixty-degree days have begun, and I, for one, could not be happier. Something about the crisp air awakens my senses and immediately improves my mood. When our boys were little, I looked forward to the fall, when they would be back in school and in a good routine. I missed them, but I knew that school could give more than I could when it came to learning. Now that they are both a month back in during these bizarre circumstances, I find myself missing them differently and being melancholy about what should have been a regular school year.

I have talked about COVID-19 a lot over these last months; now want to shift gears in light of what’s next. What can we learn and do with what we know, and how can we apply it to our lives to figure out how to get off this hamster wheel of stress? In “Coronavirus as a Calling,” on page 32, Gregg Levoy hits on these thoughts. Pressing the reset button and understanding what we had before the pandemic gives us a better appreciation of ourselves, our fragility and our need for each other. As Gregg writes, “Now that social isolation is suddenly forced on us, it reminds us how precious those connections are.” 

That’s true of our kids too. Michael and I know that for the health of their psyches, our boys need social interaction beyond the two of us. Still, we’ve relished the extra time we’ve been given with them. There have been fewer extracurriculars to rush to, more chances to bond on a deeper level, and new opportunities to create memories that none of us will ever forget. I feel selfish saying it, but if they had started this school year the way they always have, we would not have had this bonus time together.

Our senior would have had a packed schedule. Who knows how much time we would have had together during the race to the finish line of graduation. Our sophomore would have hit the ground running with more substantial enthusiasm, now that he was no longer a newbie in high school and was facing new commitments—like driving school (oy). We would have seen a lot less of both of them.

Fall has changed for me. On the one hand, I mourn the normalcy of what should have been, but on the other, I’m grateful for the benefit of time. I’m at that crossroads in life that all parents eventually reach, when you look back and hope you did it all right before you send your fledgling off into the world. But the world has changed, and maybe I’m not entirely ready to let go. 

I still have a whole year left to keep making memories with our oldest, and to enjoy the tighter bond we’ve developed with both our boys, despite the virus. Connections are the key to life. What was may not be again; what could be is what you make of it. Accept each day as a blessing, and may your fall be filled with meaningful interactions and a fresh outlook on life.

Always in health, Cyrece