Today is the autumnal equinox, a day of symmetry, equal parts day and night. Many people spend the day giving thanks for the abundance in their lives, celebrating the harvest, even giving back to those less fortunate. Me? I’ve spent the morning in my Bible Lit class, where I’ve found I’m not as isolated as originally expected.
Allow me to jump back a bit. About 11 years ago my view of the world began to change. Can I define one specific incidence that fueled this? No.
I can give two or three that probably kicked me in this direction but to be honest, I’d have wound up here eventually. But enough vagueness.
I was quiet about these changes, discussing them with only a handful of people. Not even a handful really -- more like a thimbleful. I felt relief, as if a version of me was beginning to take shape. But I also felt doubt. Weren’t all these thoughts and feelings and beliefs wrong? Wasn’t I wrong?
This is where so many wonderful people came in. A few of them have faces and names but the bulk of the influence -- the support -- came from the random passerby. A car sticker Make Love, Not War. The guy in my photography class that wore a rainbow bracelet. The old lady at Starbucks with a nose ring and peace sign tattoo. These people sound cliche, but they slowly made me realize I wasn’t alone.
So for the past few months I’ve started adding stickers on my back car window, my latest being a symbol of The Human Rights Campaign. My Mac -- which goes with me to every class -- now shouts my support to “Keep Abortion Legal” and “Support our Teachers.” My purse sports a Coexist and Stop the Hate pin. It’s not much, but little gestures add up.
I should know. I’ve come a long way from 19-year-old Emily, moving closer to me every day. Sure, that me may look like a crazy hippie, but hey -- I'm okay with that.
Switching back to Bible Lit. I was complimented on my Coexist pin on Monday, and Wednesday on my newest window sticker. I got great feedback on what I expected to be a controversial blog, and somewhere in the past few days I drummed up the nerve to write this post.
I’ve come to a point where it’s simply my turn. So today, on the autumnal equinox, I give thanks for all the random people who supported me without even realizing it. I celebrate the changing of the seasons, the changing of the winds, and the continual changing of myself.
And for a little extra pomp, I leave you with the closing lines of Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind. It's one of my favorites, and very fitting with today’s post.
* * * * * * * * * *
Drive my dead thoughts over the universe,
Like wither’d leaves, to quicken a new birth;
And, by incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unexstinguish’d hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawaken’d earth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Ode to the West Wind by Percy Shelley