Tuesday, September 22, 2020, was the fall equinox. On that day, headlines announced that 200,000 people had died from Covid-19 in the US. This occurred on the heels of the September 18th death of jurist Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which was a loss of a great woman but also the precipitant for national crisis about the vacant Supreme Court seat. No question but President Donald Trump would rush through a conservative judge to create a long-lasting conservative majority on the court. Loss and dread left me, for one, very depressed. It did not feel like equal amounts of light and dark.
In the week since the equinox, I've struggle out of that emotional hole. It was a miraculous community event that brought the sun. The HUUB, at First UU in Orange, hosted an event to promote the census. Young dancers from Concepts in Choreography, who sometimes practice in our parking lot, came by and started to dance to Jersey club. At about the same time, the Guatemalan community next door started its folkloric festival with dancers in fabulous costumes. There was a fence in between the two -- Charlie Wirene, managing director of the HUUB, made me day when he said, "We just have to take out a fence pole and open it up."
Since then, openings have piled up. Something about this hour which is calling community together. A moving piece in the New York Times made that point about a community in Oregon devastated by Covid-19 and then by wildfire. Despite the terrible losses, the community was pulling together. Restaurants, for example, were planning how to provide meals for months for those in need. As one teenager said,
“You just really see your community light up for you,” said Estefania Ortiz, 17, a high school senior who is Ms. Alexia’s cousin. “I keep telling my teachers — it’s a small community with a big heart.”
The equinox showed me the troubles of the world. But there is more: there are fenceposts we might remove so that we can pull together to get through this.