Once again I am recognized, known, greeted, hugged, by someone every place I go. No longer do I feel invisible and anonymous. I quickly became aware of the warmth and familiarity which comes with recognition and acknowledgement. Can you take the small town girl out of the Small Town and expect her to fare well?
The first morning here I took a walk alone. Covering one of the five mile routes I must have walked hundreds of times over the years, I began the walk wondering if I would remember the twists and turns which encompass completing the entire five miles. Four years later-the answer is yes. A little like riding a bicycle--after so many leg revolutions--it becomes second nature. As I walked through the neighborhoods, I recognized house after house--knew who once lived there--saw many changes and many that had not changed. There is a good possibility these houses have different owners, but at one time I could name almost all of the families and their children who resided in each abode.
Society has morphed into a fast paced, electronically connected mecca of disconnect. We all seem to live under the shelter of a umbrella of busy anonymity. We know a small circle of people connected to us by work, family, children, and community and never have the time or inclination to step out from under the dome of protection. It has become a insular-isolated world- in the big city especially. The WWW and social media have heightened our isolation and promoted our cave dwelling to the apex of loneliness we currently exist within. I LONG for time travel back to a simpler and sweeter time of my past.
It has been suggested loneliness is a by-product of the season of life I now inhabit. I am not certain I agree totally with this. Age may certainly play a role in my solitary life, but many other factors such as the WWW, a more dangerous society, and fast paced-super busy lives has done nothing to contribute to our connecting with each other.
Fast forward and here I am back in the home of most of my life. I feel lots of things, but not isolated and alone. I am surrounded by the familiar and known. There is always a smile and a hug waiting at each stop. Does this come from my long absence? The next few weeks will tell the tale of whether a place can make a difference in my state of being. Will recognition soon fade with the expectation of seeing me? Do we all quickly duck under the dome of protection and hide behind the protective barriers we have erected around ourselves? Is there any going back or do we just have to make the most of what the world has become?
I remind myself of one important fact---HE ALWAYS recognizes me--HE is ALWAYS present--HE never fails to acknowledge me---I AM TRULY NEVER ALONE!