Six months ago I posted about growth and hope and anticipation.
This is my first post since.
I was so optimistic then.
My squash plant was growing.
I could almost taste the fried squash feast.
Despite lots of pretty yellow blossoms, there was never squash.
Because I look for symbolism everywhere, I found some here.
Symbolism 1: COVID
(Because, let’s face it, we have not escaped it yet.)
Months ago we were able to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Those of us who were vaccinated were able to gather again!
The promise of overcoming the pandemic.
Blossoms of hope!
Not everyone who could get vaccinated got vaccinated.
So, variants developed.
Hospitals remain busy.
Funeral homes remain in demand.
And here at the end of the year, we are back to worrying about new variants, breakthrough infections and the possibility of accidently infecting others even when we are super careful.
Symbolism 2: Beauty > Productivity
Those squash blossoms were so beautiful.
When I looked out in the morning to see them covered with dew and picking up the sunlight, they made me happy.
Our society values “productivity” over everything, but “producing” is not the only way we contribute to the world.
We can bring happiness and joy just by “being” in the world.
On this last day of 2021, I remember the blossoms and I cut myself a break.
I didn’t write a blog post for six months.
But I hopefully contributed something to the world even so.
As has become my custom, I will end the year by sharing the list of books I read over the past twelve months.
They brought me knowledge, perspective, joy, laughter, and tears.
Sarah’s 2021 Reading List:
The Giver of Stars (audiobook), Jojo Moyes
Jesus and the Disinherited, Howard Thurman
A Man Called Ove (audiobook), Fredrik Backman
The Girl Who Wrote in Silk, Kelli Estes
Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World, Henri J. M. Nouwen
Golem Girl, Riva Lehrer
S is For Silence (audiobook), Sue Grafton
Death in Mud Lick, Eric Eyre
The Starless Sea (audiobook), Erin Morgenstern
The Night Diary (audiobook), Veera Hiranandani
Angel of Greenwood, Randi Pink
T is for Trespass (audiobook), Sue Grafton
U is for Undertow (audiobook), Sue Grafton
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent, Isabel Wilkerson
Salt Houses, Hala Alyan
V is for Vengeance (audiobook), Sue Grafton
Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times, Katherine May
The Bell, Iris Murdoch
Summer Sisters, Judy Blume
Black Milk: On Writing, Motherhood, and the Harem Within, Elif Shafak
Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro
With the Fire on High (audiobook), Elizabeth Acevedo
Let’s Talk About Hard Things, Anna Sale
Giving Up Whiteness: One Man’s Journey, Jeff James
The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches From the Border, Francisco Cantu
Anxious People (audiobook), Fredrik Backman
Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachian Mountains (audiobook), Cassie Chambers
The Night Watchman (audiobook), Louise Erdrich
The Other Black Girl (audiobook), Zakiya Dalila Harris
Dusk Night Dawn: On Revival and Courage, Anne Lamott
Inside Out & Back Again (audiobook), Thanhha Lai
Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry (audiobook), Fredrik Backman
Today We Go Home, Kelli Estes
The Dutch House (audiobook), Ann Patchett
The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett
The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
W is for Wasted (audiobook), Sue Grafton
A Single Shard, Linda Sue Park
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
The Madness of Crowds (audiobook), Louise Penny
Cloud Cuckoo Land (audiobook), Anthony Doerr
Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could (audiobook), Adam Schiff
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, Deesha Philyaw
Piranesi, Susanna Clarke
How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America, Clint Smith