We humans really are funny creatures.
Previously I wrote about being an extrovert and really missing contact with others. Today, I stole a quick moment of contact that was wonderful.
But made me yearn for more.
At some point, a couple friends and I decided to get together outdoors. We meet up with our kids in quiet playgrounds, always looking for secluded spots.
Today was a sunny and warm-ish day, so we met up after school got out on an elementary school playground.
We hadn’t seen each other for a while, and the sense of joy at being together was palpable. Chatting away, we were delighted to be doing something that felt so normal.
A Stolen Moment
One of my friends is acting as homeschooling teacher for her own kids and another pair of siblings. She is a woman of incredible energy, generous and kind in spirit.
We were just getting settled into a nice chat when suddenly, one of her charges called out to her from the top of a jungle gym.
“Ms. S! I’m stuck! I need help!”
She caught sight of him and broke off mid-sentence. A look of kindly exasperation came over her face, she gave a quick sigh and moved to step past me, towards him.
Just as she was preparing to dash over, she made the slightest move towards me with her arms open.
Without realizing what I was doing, I opened my arms to meet her, and we caught each other in a quick but warm hug, faces turned away from each other.
Time seemed to stop.
Her smell nearly overcame me. I caught a wonderful mix of scents: her laundry detergent, lotion, shampoo, maybe even perfume?
It was wonderful.
I realized in that brief embrace that I hadn’t hugged anyone but my family since February. No wonder the scent of her arrested me: I’m so used to the smell of my boys that any different smells strike me as strong.
It lasted just a split second. We broke apart, she ran off and negotiated the kiddo off the top of the jungle gym.
That Hug Said So Much
Without saying anything, I felt like we had told each other so much.
That hug spoke of loneliness, exhaustion, frustration, empathy, solidarity. It spoke of need.
It was a beautiful and spontaneous expression of a need for contact.
All Too Brief
Shortly after, a nasty fall from a different jungle gym ended our visit a bit early. Someone got a knock on the nose, and needed to go home for a little TLC.
Without any expression of resentment for shortening the visit, my friend gathered her charges and prepared to head home.
I sensed that she could have done with a longer visit, a longer natter, a good yarning session.
I wished she could stay longer too, but I silently thanked her for that illegal hug.
It was a little preview of what we have to look forward to when, some day hopefully not too far from now, the pandemic is over.