The not so strangeness of strangers
She slipped her hand into mine like slipping a hand into a perfectly fitted glove. I didn’t jump or pull away. I was, at first, a little surprised, but then let the feeling pass and just curled my fingers around hers as she did hers in mine. I then looked from the throng of people ahead of us, and the realization that my friend I had come to the concert with, was actually a few steps ahead of me and not beside me. So, who was this person that thought that we were familiar enough to connect by holding hands on our way back to our seats after the intermission.
As I turned to look at this woman with long blond hair and dressed in a smart outfit, befitting that of a mid-summer musical concert in Vancouver. I realized I had no idea who she was. It took a few: “oh, hello’s”, to make eye contact with her. Her partner, walking on the other side, also showed a look of confusion on his face. She then noticed what was happening and slowly let go of my hand and looked around to her partner and smiled sheepishly. We all began to laugh as we realized that her partner and I were of the same height, same black shirts, same arm length and facial hair... so mistaking me for him was not to much of a stretch. She did comment, as we laughed our way back to the auditorium, that “it was a good thing that I decided to hold your hand instead of reaching for your back pocket, like I normally do.”
Blushingly, and with lots of laughter among us and the surrounding bystanders, and with so much appreciation for sharing a beautiful moment with someone I had did not know, I started to wonder about how we really connect with the people around us. Strangers that might not be so strange after all in not so “familiar” ways. How we reach out to join groups of people going to concerts, volunteering, taking part in special events or sports... even practicing yoga in a group setting. When we remove ourselves from behind the screens of our computers, televisions or various electronic hand-held devices... we begin a journey of rejoining the collective consciousness of a human being being a human being. ...making contact.
We are not as singular as we might think, even though we might sometimes believe we are. Interacting, or just being present within a group atmosphere, we share much more than just the information presented or what we receive physically or emotionally... we share a commonality of connecting with another human being, another soul. I wonder if that is why hugging can be such a powerful and meaningful action between two individuals. Contact is contact and the more we reach out to share connection with someone, the more embracing and welcoming the world around us just might become.
... sharing a laugh at the randomness of connecting with strangers, that may not be so strange, in seemingly random moments in time.