There is something so great about a body. A physical body. One that is familiar, one that you remember. A person with a scent, with arms, with a cheek you can press yours up against. A person with skin.
During my travel this past week I found myself in the midst of several reunions. I came in contact with aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and then my very own little tribe when I returned home. It became strikingly clear to me that technology - though I'm so thankful for it- offers us an inadequate substitute for flesh and blood encounters. Sometimes I forget that it simply cannot communicate that which arms wrapping around, or hands grasping, or chests supporting, can convey in an embrace.
In a way, this need for touch (and it's irreplaceable effect) is almost too bittersweet to fully admit- especially when space, time, distance, age, miles... and someday death, threaten to separate you from the bodies and skin and outer packages of the people that you love.
I know that souls are important. I know that our souls live forever, but these bodies of ours can bring so much comfort. The deep longing to feel my mother's body near to me again has not diminished at all since her death nearly 20 years ago. I find myself trying harder to appreciate the moments when I am granted the privilege of physical proximity. I'm full of effort to memorize the crinkles around eyes, the iridescence of irises, the taper of shoulders, the length of fingers, the vibration of laughter. I attach myself firmly to these details drawing on them over and over again in times of separation.
Hoping, awaiting, longing for the next time...
I've missed this little guy's body and spent the morning in reunion with it. Glad to be home safe and sound. Prayers for all of you on East coast.