Anidst the COVID crisis, the most I’ve missed is touch. Simple touch. A hug, a kiss on the cheek, a handshake. I spoke to a friend of mine last week and she said, if you have some time on Friday, you can come over to see the baby. This beautiful, brand spanking new six-week old, baby boy. I hesitated, out of fear, but I realized, I’m no danger to him, or her. I’ve been safe and at home, and I need to go.
I’ve been sitting in my apartment for 3 days, in the dark (both literally and figuratively). After an unexpected anxiety attack the previous week, I had to tell my boss, it’s time for a break. So, as I decompress, I visit my family a few towns over, and now, I’m home again, alone. I needed to see this baby.
Gorgeous dark hair, big bright eyes, ten fingers, ten toes, and squirmy. He was at ease with this new stranger in the house, and allowed me to hold him to feel someone new. “You’re like the baby whisperer!” She exclaimed. She was in shock that I said, “maybe he’s fussy because he’s sleepy. My cousin does that when he’s trying not to sleep.”
What I quickly realized, is, he needed quiet. Pure quiet. So we sat in silence for about half an hour, and watched. He was less agitated, more focused, and more aware of his surroundings. He relaxed. And he watched whatever entities floated in the room. His eyes were everywhere but on us. He had a lot of folks talking to him and we were laughing too loud for him to hear. It was beautiful to watch. And frankly, surprising. I found myself whispering, when I felt the urge to just say something. A habit of dealing with awkward silence, not a necessity. Babies do not like sudden, loud noises, and boisterous activity. People are scary, and new, and intrusive. They need ease, and calm. And as frustrating as it can be for us adults, we must abide to allow them a safe environment.
A baby does not need to be this motivation for you to be present. Walk outside, stop, and watch the sky, day or night. Watch the clouds move. Marvel at the incredible speed that turns our world, yet floats the clouds in a sleepy, circular pattern. Watch for that one star that keeps glowing the brightest in your direction. The joy of a full moon, the biggest light to drown the darkness.
Pay attention to people speaking to you. Look them in the eye. Hear, don’t just listen. Hear what is being said to you, not to respond, but to hear. I saw a meme on Instagram that said “you ever realize we ask people at work how their weekends were just so we can tell them how ours were?”
I cramped my arm beating egg whites this morning, to make waffles. I wanted really fluffy waffles, what can I say? But to watch that transformation, and have no other concerns in that moment but stiff, white, pillowy peaks, is a miracle.
So focus, breathe, think, see, hear, taste, watch, touch, feel, and absorb. If this time has taught us anything, we have nothing but time, and none at all.