Tomorrow is a new moon. Last night was Maha Shivratri and the night of the dark moon. Yesterday was also the unwelcome one year landmark of our planet’s declared COVID-19 pandemic.

I look at all of these and think about time.

How quickly, yet how slowly it goes by.

Over the past one year, every day felt like it lasted forever with the increasing numbers of cases, deaths and losses from the pandemic.

Witnessing my son and his friends online instead of face to face. Transforming all of my book clubs to zoom meetings. Dating over zoom. Wiping down every single package that was delivered. Creating a process of sanitizing every grocery item and dreading the hours it would take to empty the groceries, as a result.

Empty grocery aisles. Waiting for weeks to get groceries. No sanitizer. No toilet paper. No paper towels.

No PPE. Reusing masks in the clinic. Meeting patients over zoom. COVID testing with full gear-looking like a walking condom.

Black Lives Matter protests happening at the same time as we entered into the pandemic. Terrified for the lives of the protesters. Terrified for people who are black. Terrified for the lives of all people. Terrified of being terrified.

Boston’s city burning up as other cities all over the country were burning up. Literally thinking we were entering a civil war.

We lost a Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. We lost freedoms we took for granted.

But as all of this was happening, I was also spending time inward.

Really seeing life as it was. As it had become. How we got to that place as a human race.

It gave us time to pause. To consider what life could look like if we slowed down.

Traffic disappeared. The roads were quiet and empty. Silence in the city.

I connected with friends I hadn’t spoken to in years. The fear that was mutual for every single being on this planet was equal. No one was spared from this pandemic.

I literally had a birthday party with 87 friends and family all over the planet, on zoom. I thought about others. I cared deeply for their wellbeing and actually reached out.

I listened. I paid attention. I held space. For everyone, for myself, for my loves in life.

My son spent one year ‘at school’ with me.

We ate all of our meals together! We played so much Monopoly Deal that the cards are all dog-eared! Netflix and Hulu became our replacement for Regal and we had to find a new show to watch every few weeks!

He and I love being with each other, so luckily this was an awesome set up. Yet, we gave each other space. He learned the art of personal time and space at the young age of 16-that’s a gift.

I decided to use the saved travel time, empty calendar and restrictions to getting together with others to learn more about self love. I joined the VITA women’s course in the summer and started to have a deep love affair with myself!

Then I decided to become a love, sex and relationship coach. To help others receive the same beautiful process.

And I fell in love with a man…over zoom. I also had my heart broken, by the same man…over email.

I really learned how to embody feelings and recognize trauma…and how to heal.

We had a year mixed with so many extreme feelings. It was guilt mixed with ecstasy, loss and joy, happiness and sadness.

Twenty years ago, when 911 happened, I was in Chicago and remember feeling useless. This time, I was able to give back. I serve as a COVID warrior and am so grateful for the opportunity to do good.

As I’ve been digging deeper into myself through this past year, my sexuality and identity became front and center in my mind. I started feeling things I had shunned and rejected before. I realized how much shame I had collected.

And I continue to discover parts of me that I want to bring out and celebrate.

I want to be like the moon-have the Darkness and the Light-and honor both. It’s no error that the Moon feels female-it’s cycles, it’s moods, it’s beauty that transforms and it’s owning of the shadow and the light.

My feelings of isolation in my new sexual discovery create a longing to belong. I know I belong in the world, but where is my queer tribe who I can relate to? How will I find them? Where will I go in a pandemic to meet them?

Up until today, I thought it would be over zoom.

But today the sun came out and shone hope. The masked world came out of their caves. Joy was felt by watching movement everywhere.

Spring brings new beginnings. The timing of our new moon is provident for these feelings to arise.

This pandemic will pass because humans are resilient.

I know we will have tribulations to deal with persisting rules and regulations about masks, travel and gatherings. The variants still have to be dealt with.

But we are vaccinating, numbers are going down, schools are opening, people are getting used to being masked, hand hygiene is no longer a fad.

I also know we will find ways to create social structures, like we so quickly did with zoom, 12 months ago. I will find my tribe of queer beauties, howl under a moon, dance around a tree and wear my rainbow mask. I will wear my dark cloak and bright crown, honoring all I am and feel the belonging within. That is the route to my acceptance of all I am. As my sitar teacher says to me, “accept where you are”.