By now, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I see much of the world through the lens of the number three. It features prominently in my life, my emotions, my home and my psyche. I’m one of three siblings, and I have three children. Drilled into my head from decorating magazines and designer savvy friends is the law of three – whether it’s candles on the mantle, pictures on the wall, or cushions on a couch. When people ask me how I am feeling or doing, I consistently offer three options – I’m good thanks, worried about the dog – she’s limping, and glad to be out hiking. My website and writing focus on my commitment to excavating, living and advocating for a triad of life forces I believe critical to our wellbeing.

On the shortest day of the year, as I ponder the holiday season ahead and state of the world, a trio of phenomena prevails over the logistics and mood of family and friends as we strive for health, safety and connection. Covid, climate change and Christmas. I’m also prone to symmetry, so C3 fits my synopsis. I am witnessing and feeling a triad of conflicting tensions.

The blessings I have experienced for the past 22 months have been extinguished. People in my circle are testing positive for the virus. Whereas I felt a false sense of immunity, double vaxxed and living in the country, now tripled jabbed and sequestered on 30 acres, I feel vulnerable. Everyone is to be boostered and have access to rapid tests. Our infrastructure and decisionmakers are inadequate and ill-prepared to make those recommendations a reality.

The daily counts and doomsday predictions dominate, only leaving room in the media for severe weather event reporting. Apocalyptic rain, snow, wind, waves, and temperatures dominate what’s left of the broadcast or print page. Those desperate for updates have their device alerts on high. The chorus of pings and techno jeers compete with background Christmas music. Which no one is listening to because they’re in their head, worrying. Fretting. Finding rapid tests. Swallowing to check for a sore throat. Scrolling the endless websites offering outofstock masks. Joining waitinglist appointments. Canceling travel plans.

Another Covid Christmas. It’s the same as last year. Only different. The defense of vaccination was on the horizon. We got it. The waves continued. We got another. Not enough. Now another. We’ll see. We’ve gone from masks that aren’t necessary, to essential, to requiring two. Save the N-95’s for health care workers, except now we all should be wearing one. The 100 that I ordered are temporarily out of stock. The overlay of devastating weather events, happening around the world, has us all asking why Mother Nature is raging. Some of it is our fault, but not all of it.

There are four sleeps until Christmas. And I have a choice to make. We all do. Join the frenzy, subscribe to the fear, and cancel life. Or say f*ck it. Not in the fashion of the anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists. Instead, by finding a middle ground between being responsible and respectful of societal needs for safety with a gentle acceptance of inevitabilities. By finding the sweet spot between isolation and taking a risk with loved ones. By acknowledging that we are all in this together. With energy and empathy we can support, show up and lean on each other. If there’s snow we will ski and snowshoe. If there’s rain we will hike. If there’s wind we won’t have a bonfire. If it’s warm we’ll sit on the chairs on the deck. If it’s cold we’ll turn up the heat and play board games.

The pandemic freight train can’t be stopped. The weather will happen. The holidays are upon us. I am choosing to celebrate Christmas.

At least, that is my experience.