together on aisle 15

March 31st, 2021

I had shot number 1 yesterday. For months I’ve been bemoaning my lowly place in line, which was really no place in line. Nine months shy of a qualifying 65th birthday, I began to believe — because I grumbled it so often —”I will be the last person on Earth to get the vaccine.” Then one day in the desert it rained down bread from heaven, and in the morning I gathered up my laptop and made an appointment at a pharmacy just a few miles from my house. At the door, a kind young man greeted me as if I were a wanderer out of the wilderness and 10 minutes later, the dose delivered, I sat in a socially distanced folding chair in Aisle 15, waiting out adverse signs.

Aisle 15 was the Baby Care aisle and Aisle 16 was the Adult Care aisle, and so I perched in view of the teething toys, and stacked on the other side, the incontinence briefs. It was a blatant reminder of the one life we share on the lonely trek between then and when. A year ago I wrote about the hope and good health bequeathed to us born into the vaccine generation, the first little ones freed from polio, measles, tuberculosis and all manner of misery and plagues. As it was, so shall it be. We are and will always be saved by the grace of community, by human wonders and works, faith and fellowship, led from the bleak bondage of fear to the promised land of rest. On Aisle 15, together.

“Here For You” a new dharma talk

Photo by Birger Strahl on Unsplash


  1. Sending you love.

    From another appreciative vaccinated being

    Comment by Deborah Brimlow — March 31, 2021 @ 8:15 am

  2. I received my first dose today. It was supposed to be months before I’d qualify, and I’d been disgruntled. Then the Ho Chunk nation announced an offering: they had extra vaccines and would vaccinate anyone over 18. Together with hundreds of other non-Ho Chunk people, my family waited in line for 90 minutes in the cold and wind. Once inside, we were directed and cared for by such kind and generous people. It was impeccably run. They’d be there into the evening, one of the tribal members told me, until they’d given all the doses they had to give. I couldn’t help but be sobered and humbled.

    Comment by Amy — March 31, 2021 @ 8:59 am

  3. Good writing, nice word art from you and your commentors.

    Comment by Bill Kirby — April 1, 2021 @ 9:54 am

  4. There’s such relief and gratitude with these first shots. I exhaled a breath I didn’t even know I’d been holding. And I’m with you there in aisle 15, my friend, surveying the territory, glad to still be upright and walking the path with you.

    Comment by Katrina — April 1, 2021 @ 10:41 am

  5. I’m going to tell you a secret. I listen to every dharma talk like we are sitting together in a quiet room. Like you are glancing up at me from time to time. Like the talk is for me personally. Because it always feels that thoughtful and that relevant. I know there are scores of others who feel the same and perhaps that is your superpower. 2/24 marks my 2+2 and I am grateful beyond measure. For that and for you. Thank you. 

    Comment by Bonnie Rae Nygren — April 1, 2021 @ 10:55 am

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