We hugged without letting go. When we let go, we faced each other, our eyes connected and we squealed with laughter as we hugged again. I felt like I was hugging Octavia Spencer, the black curvy woman who played God in the movie, The Shack. In other words, I experienced a big God hug in the flesh. All those who were looking on thought we were long lost sisters. We were really strangers and turned into friends in a two hour time period.
This happened at the pool today. It was a treat on Labor day to spend the entire afternoon at the pool with my neighbor, Par. We had decided to sit on chairs at the sidelines and soak up the happy splashing noises of kids. I had my paints and I was painting joyful splashy watercolor paintings. (see picture)
We didn't expect the "party" that erupted. The young man to my left, struck up a conversation....a nice long one. His wife joined in later. Par struck up a conversation with Stephanie, an older woman (the hugger) on her right. She was from Texas visiting her family. Her son and his wife started talking to all of us. We found more chairs and we ended up with a circle of people, diverse in age and background, who became connected in a spirited sharing, comparing each person's philosophy of life.
"Each of us is accountable for his or her own life and we must live life responsibly and have fun in the meantime." one said.
Another spoke up. "Live and let live. Live your life well and allow others to do the same."
Stephanie said, "Relating with family and friends is of utmost importance."
"If you do your best, you can make it." was another statement.
"Quality parenting is key," was another philosphy thrown into the beauriful mix.
We then continued from one topic to another, including discussions about current events. The talking pitter pattered like rain over my soul as we talked. Talking continued with stories shared of hard times and good times. None of this was planned. It just happened. As I shared more, one on one with Stephanie, I found out that we are both very close to the same age and we both have twin brothers. We bonded in our experiences. We could have talked for hours.
Stephanie has a trademark expression when she hears individual's stories. She winks and with a sideways grin says, " Don't ever give up." and then she holds your eyes with hers. I practiced the same look because it was so winsome, but I couldn't pull it off.
After 3 hours of sitting together comfortably, the pool closed and we had to close our time. Stephanie looked at me. I was in a wet suit and she was in dry clothing. "There's a gap, let's close it," she said spreading her arms.
And that is when the hug happened.
Moral: If this kind of connection can happen with strangers, what might happen if we were face to face with people we know and in a circle...anywhere. Let's connect. If you are not a hugger, that is ok. You can do it without hugging.