Hugs are among the connections that that I respect most in the whole world. I’m not a huggy type in the sense of instinctively greeting people with hugs. In fact, I find myself in semi-shock when someone I don’t know very well hugs me ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye.’
I tend to look on in amazement at the extent to which the schoolgirls I see around and about are so giving with their hugs. I was just never like that and I can’t really remember if hugs were as trendy back in my schooldays as they are today.
However, there are times when absolutely NOTHING but a hug will do; times of happiness, sadness, reunion, frustration, celebration.
To me hugs are about as sacred as it gets ~ they are about true empathy and so deep that they say far, far more than words ever can.
For weeks now, I’ve been looking at what I see as the epitome of a hug ~ the embrace of two threads of clematis high up in the trees in Mount Congreve Garden. The hug has been getting tighter and tighter but seems, at the same time, to highlight even more the fragility and tenderness of life.
It’s at those times when we feel most fragile and tender that the hug is at its most supreme.
The extent to which people can read each other is a source of constant interest and fascination to me.
I think the time I was most dumbstruck by someone’s ability to read me was this day five years ago when I visited my 88 year-old mother in the Emergency Room in hospital where she had been on a trolley for several hours.
I put on my brightest smile and she beamed back at me. Before I had time to utter, she asked me how Iwas. Fine, I said, but what about you?
She certainly wasn’t going to move on to my question without letting me know that she knew damn well I wasn’t ‘fine.’ Have you looked at yourself in the mirror today, she asked very calmly. Why? I asked. You look exhausted, your eyes can’t cod me, she replied very calmly. She was right, of course!
I wonder if everyone has giveaways that those closest to them can read as if they were booming headlines. I can think of a few giveaways alright: an almost inaudible sniff; a gentle little clearing of the throat; a lightening flick of the head; a gaze held for a trillionth of a second longer than usual …..
Thing is, I reckon my late mother could have read my eyes even if I was wearing big, dark sunglasses!