Proximity

This morning in the woods I came across a gentleman  hadn’t met before. As he approached he moved over off trail. Usually I am the one who does that and I thanked him for graciously giving me six feet of space. He laughed and said he was about over it. I looked at him to see if he was joking and gently said, “Please … wait a bit more. From the numbers it seems the virus is not over us yet.”
He seemed genuinely touched by the fact that I cared, not just about myself but about him and his welfare. I didn’t know him at all, who he was, what he believed. He stopped a moment, laughed and said he thought I was right. He was just so tired of being on alert all the time. I smiled a smile that said I understood completely. We chuckled at the absurdity of a pandemic, of living lives so different from just a few months ago and went about our way.
That sense of being over it is fueling the virus today. We don’t get to decide to be done, or at least we don’t if we have a social conscience. We miss the nearness of another, the sweetness of touch, even when it is just a pat on the shoulder. Missing that human contact feels like it is killing us. It is, but not for the reason most think.
We have been substituting physical closeness for what we really want — deep, intimate connection, real authentic presence. Proximity has been our crutch, our weak substitute, what we filled the hole within with and now it is gone and we ache for its return.
Spirit is teaching through the virus and we are resisting — kind of like normal. I had to be run over by spirit before I finally let go. Each time got a little easier but I still required coaxing. The virus is coaxing us, dragging us along like a little puppy fighting a leash.
These sacred moments are teaching patience, the truth of our oneness, the importance of honoring our mothers and fathers — everyone’s mother and father. They are teaching us to love one another as God loves us … unconditional, real and authentic, raw and vulnerable, truly wholly alive. They offer us the opportunity to find the meaning and purpose that lives within each connected, aligned breath regardless of circumstances. They offer to set us free.
This morning as I walked away from my new friend I  realized that we had a meaningful encounter. Neither of us feigned being fine — we didn’t pretend at all. We were real, vulnerable and open. We kept the distance, laughing at the times we are living through. Nothing was missing at all. It was a delightful surprise, to find another unguarded soul and to connect.
“Is the grim reaper, the greatest boogie man of all time, real or not? Open in a grand, vulnerable YES to life’s blossoming  mystery and ideas of death crumble, the silliness is seen through, and not-so-honorable mentions are met with a cosmic belly laugh.” Card #8, The Grim Reaper — The Wild Child

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