“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within,” Baldwin wrote in his best-selling 1963 novel The Fire Next Time.
So, now it is the “Third Wave”. For many of us, all we can remember is the first wave because we have not stopped. We have been seeing patients, especially infants, and young children, to make sure they are immunized. The rest of the time, we have been seeing patients and rushing to get them in for physicals and routine screenings while we had the chance. Also, we have been pushing flu shots. I personally got my physical, flu shot, and lab work. I am also taking some time off. It is time. I found myself raising my voice and really pushing back. We must realize that we are in this for the long haul. There are no short cuts. We have committed ourselves to this path. I wished we could change it, but by this week, I told my boss that prayer was ok, but we need to have common sense and be proactive, not reactive. It just came gushing out. Maybe it was my frustration.
I am preparing for this fight. For election day, I have a face shield and mask. I know what you think, but we are going to vote in-person. I want there to be a line so I can witness firsthand people exercising their right to vote. For me, it is a path paved in blood, so I must be there. I have not missed voting in 45 years. I just like the idea of pulling that lever, especially in these trying times. I find myself humming songs like “Precious Lord Take My Hand,” “What’s Going On,” and “The Greatest Love of All.” I feel like the souls of all my ancestors are just pushing me forward. I may be sharing too much.
Getting back to this “Third Wave,” I am just measuring my strength, finding my place, and deciding my contribution. I feel like I put it all out there, and all I have now is the knowledge I gained. Will that be enough? We have rounded the corner, but we are now heading up the long hill and hoping that it plateaus.
“Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced,” Baldwin wrote in a 1962 essay for The New York Times.