The Fall Equinox is a time of transition; it is an acknowledgment that all things change. The vibrancy of life inevitably cycles through age, death, decomposition, feeding and inspiring the life and energy that inevitably comes next. This realization of mortality, this honoring of our transient nature, is difficult for many of us. As we see the world change around us—aftermath of a global pandemic; ongoing fights for equality and justice; war and climate disasters—it is difficult not to feel afraid, infuriated, and alone. Yet, with these existential struggles, we also have the gifts and the hope of imagination and creativity, of learning, self-reflection, and choosing how we want to grow, transform, and walk our path in this world. Human existence is terribly complex and profoundly beautiful. The stories in this collection grapple with change, with identity, belonging, isolation, fear, and loss. Yet, in their own unique ways, they offer a sense of hope—hope as a discipline, as Mariame Kaba would say—reminding us of our resilience, of our strength through adversity, our ability and responsibility to keep one foot in front of the other. Reminding us not only that we must embrace change, for it is inescapable, but that we can embrace it, and find our way, our sense of self and belonging in this messy life we are given. It is our privilege and honor to share these very real, very human stories with you.
The COALESCE Community Team