Going into the registration office for the Adult Outpt Clinic, I saw two guys chatting. The one who was seated at the desk behind the counter works in the office and the standing gentleman in front of the counter works on the units. Having already greeted the one behind the desk earlier this morning, I went to greet the standing gentleman and leaning on him a few times — bouncing back off of him — then, we hugged. He hugged me sideways, that is putting his left arm around me and pulling me toward his left side, holding me for a bit.
You know what?
It felt good. Not in a hot-sex kind of way, no; but in a gentle yet solidly firm manly kind of way. And for a moment, just a moment, I realized how nice it must be to have that marvelous kind of love in one’s life. Intellectually, this is not a difficult concept to grasp; however there is a difference between the mind and the heart. In my adult life, it’s been impressed upon me that the little details are most telling, comforting and needed. I thought about what it must be like to have someone to hug you whenever, however. To understand that a touch is much much more than it may first appear. As nice as this was, I can’t imagine how much nicer it would be to have that protective sense from someone whom I admired, respected and loved as my “Boaz”.
It also affirmed my growing awareness of the need to touch and be touched. We know that the bond between mother and child is strengthened by the constant touching between the two. And we know that infants who are not touched by anyone suffer from mental anguish that prevents them from living full and whole lives (well at least I know that b/c of my profession). In fact they are irritable and cranky but it goes beyond that, they FAIL TO THRIVE; meaning that they don’t eat well, don’t sleep well, don’t grow well and don’t develop neurologically like other children.
So touch is important.
We are conceived because of touch. We are surrounded by a wall of flesh until it is time for our arrival. And then we burst unto the scene, held by learned hands and immediately placed in more hands. Everything that we do as infants must be done by others touching us and so it goes until somewhere along the line we become hardened and touch becomes sometimes, a thing to be feared or loathed. We abandon touch sometimes because wrapped in our own cocoons of work, career (for the two are not always the same), pain, sadness, mistrust or just plain “busy-ness” we don’t have anyone in our lives who will touch us healingly or we don’t let anyone close enough to see our vulnerabilities in needing to be touched.
So today, I hope that if you need it, that you find someone to touch and to touch you. A tap on the shoulder, a hearty clap on the back, a hug, a kiss, even getting your hair done did :^) — whatever it is, may you find comfort in that touch.