Hold someone’s hand

by You Have My Word


I sit writing overlooking a playground on an early Monday morning. The sun is trying to crack the icy air so children warm up to the idea that today was made for living.

Three swing-high girls walked two skips ahead of their skyscraper teacher. (Playgrounds were made for jungle gyms, not high-rise buildings.) They were all wearing, what looked like, cloaks finely woven from Jacaranda flowers – a lighter shade of royalty.

I will not stereotype their individuals frames; they have not yet made that awkward transition from being blissfully unaware of their shape to being unable to see beauty within themselves. They are young and untainted and still willing to try.

In their lilac row, vanilla-cake hair shuffling in the wind’s whisper, two had taken hands while the third hobbled uncomfortably trying to keep up. In her odd left-right-lose-balance-come-right step she reached out to take one of their hands.

Fingers brushed, but before they could lock, the pair pulled away. Gawking wide-eyed and wounded, the third tried again only to have the reward of reaching out, ripped apart. So close in height, in age, in look, in proximity and yet so separated.

From where I sat I couldn’t see why, but I could see the hurt. It’s not so different from what we do sometimes. When someone reaches out – because they need to be held, need to be loved, we pull away.

So, today, go out of your way to meet the extended hand half way and hold it. Hold it tight and do not let it go. Let the fingers lock, lock eyes, and do not look away. Your reassurance may be the first aid they’ve been waiting for in the pain.

Perhaps they will learn to love again.