When distance closes in

The smile slid automatically across my face. It started with a leaning forward, a tenuous glance and then a full-blown visceral response. Eyes locked on eyes, we shared the joy amongst the 6-foot spread of our safe distancing practice. The connection made a clunk. And both of us danced across the sidewalk in a solitary recognition of humanity. I repeated this exercise with other strangers several times that day and felt my heart soar as I realized love can indeed change the world. It certainly has changed mine.

As our lockdown in Germany loosens and nearness becomes less tabu, I have sensed a release of months-long pent up anxiety that closeness is not a thing of the past, but a put-on-hold pleasure reserved for the select few. Old acquaintances I haven’t seen in years (okay, months, but in pandemic terms it felts like dog years) walked slowly toward me. Should we hug? Should we not? In many cases, we simply said, “Yes. I will die some day. And this. Well this. I cannot live without. In fact, I cannot live without…YOU.”

A dear friend swung by today for an hour. As she came up the stairs to my apartment, we stood in frozen silence, near to tears. “I have goose bumps,” she said. We faltered, staggering forward in an involuntary response. I nearly fell to my knees, so grateful for her proximity. So happy to have another human being I haven’t seen in ages, willing to be with me.

Our need for human connection is real. And in these times of physical distance, it is particularly challenging to fulfill that need. I am grateful for the amazing friends I have – who are many. Ones who call or text to say, “I was thinking of you.” And remarkably realizing I had just thought of them too. In a synchronicity fashioned by the Universe that loves us all.

Thank you, dear ones, for your spirit, your love and your ability to brighten my day across the miles.

We are in this together. No matter how far apart.


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