Tag: connection

Finding Solace in Simple Pleasures


When I go on my morning walks, I’m often alone on the sidewalks. The early darkness might discourage people from stepping outside of their homes. Most walkers are people with pets who are probably desperate to find a swatch of grass, and their owners are obviously happy to oblige. Although I don’t see many people with dogs anymore, I always like to see Zoe, an English mastiff who is both gentle and stubborn. When she sees me coming, she stops and watches me approaching. Her owner makes her sit, which she does reluctantly. Lately, she’s more reserved toward me, so I make sure she sniffs my hand before I scratch her ears. That physical connection usually does the trick, and we are friends once again.

This morning provided a moment that has stuck with me through my day. Often when I am out, the maintenance fellows are mowing the grass on their overgrown tractors. They are so hypnotizingly focused as they whip around on the golf greens, that I sometimes can’t catch their attention. But now and then they see me smile and wave, and they respond in kind. I can’t tell if they are pleased to react, or if they do it reluctantly.

Today, though, the motives of the fellow I saw were clear. As I approached on the sidewalk opposite him (about 50 feet away), he smiled and waved before I could initiate my greeting. I grinned and waved back; I assume it was reminiscent of another cheerful morning when we connected. It was an especially sweet moment on a number of counts. For one, he was a black fellow who didn’t seem to care about the differences in our skin color. For another, he saw me as a peer (rather than our connecting worker to “employer.”) And finally, he sought to initiate a friendly, warm, and sincere gesture without hesitation. One human being relating to another, voluntarily and generously.

Spiritual Chemistry


In the next couple of weeks, a very dear friend of mine and her husband who live here in Florida are moving to Indiana. (Yes, they know how cold the winters will be!) They are moving for what I think are sensible reasons—anticipating aging, health difficulties, and wanting to be with one of their sons and his family.

And I will miss her so very much.

We met when Eileen responded to a notice I put out for people to join a meditation group I was forming. The moment we met, we clicked. She was not a regular participant, but came often enough for us to get to know each other. Although superficially we didn’t have a lot in common (although we were Conservatives, which is a very big deal), we shared many values about life, relationships, and marriage.

We Have Each Other!


Extended isolation is killing us, physically and emotionally. Suicides, drug overdoses, and untended health problems are deadly outcomes during this virus pandemic. But I’m here with positive news and a way for us to remind each other that we are in this together. Rather than dwell on what we can’t do, I’m choosing to focus on what we can do.

I’ve finally realized that the most important thing for me to do is to reduce my isolation! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Here are some of the steps I’m going to take:

  1. Connect with one friend per day. That means I will make a phone call or send a personal note. Now I dislike talking on the phone, but if I keep it to a few minutes, it will be worth it. Hearing the other person’s voice, finding something to laugh at (I usually make an easy victim), or telling a story will lighten my load. Since I know others are busy, I will first ask if they have a couple of minutes, and then say I won’t be long. I could call people all over the country that I haven’t talked to in ages. It would be fun to catch up, and share our lives. I’m feeling better just talking about it!
  2. I will send an email just to say I’m thinking of that person. Remind him or her of a memory we shared or a joke I’ve heard. (Well, maybe not a joke because I’m terrible at punch lines.) I would make a point to only include funny, light, or heartfelt comments. It shouldn’t be a long email, but just a way to make a sweet connection.
  3. Before the virus, I was in the process of organizing a Jewish group. It was called Teshuvah, and after our first meeting, the virus hit. I’ve only rarely been in touch since we can’t get together. We were going to meet with an agenda to become better acquainted with the Jewish holidays. Instead, for each holiday I will send out a blurb, maybe call it, “Did You Know,” with something unlikely to be known about the holiday, maybe include a quote from a well-known Jewish teacher. It will keep the connections going and maybe add a few new people. I could do this every couple of weeks.

But I realize that I also have relationships with like-minded Conservative people all over the country! I have all of you, my Ricochet friends! I would like to think of these relationships as a Web of Friendship, may be present in every state of the Union. I will want to know that I have engaged, sustained, and continually supported all of you, even after the election, no matter what happens. So here’s my proposal:

The Bicycle Ladies


We’ve started our days taking a walk together, my husband and I. It’s a shorter walk than I usually take in the morning, but I’m taking it easy for at least another week. The sun seemed to light the trees, and we could hear the cardinals calling to each other from dense branches and leaves. The temperature was perfect and we strolled along, my husband on the outside next to the street of course. He’s always a gentleman.

On our way back, we heard voices behind us and we turned to see who was coming. (People sometimes ride their bicycles on the sidewalks and give little notice when they zoom around us.) Two women rode next to each other in the street on two beautiful women’s bikes (no fancy extra gears for them!) and as they approached us, we called out, “We love your bikes!”

Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella


All kinds of people visit our gym in this community. Some are very friendly and we kid around and harass each other. And there are those who are shy and distant, rarely making eye contact. But I feel connected to them, too, since we are all older people on a mission to stay healthy.

Scooter Economy


Have you ever wondered about the scooter economy? No, not that Scooter. We are talking about the electric scooters, which have largely supplanted undocked bicycles. The undocked bicycles were, themselves, a leap forward from docked bicycles. All of these transportation modes attack the “last mile” problem, with increasing efficacy. “Docked,” undocked,” “last mile,” what is all this about? Read on and marvel, or at least gain a nice break room, coffee shop, or dinner table story.

The last mile problem:

In transportation of persons, as in transmission of data, the last mile is the toughest challenge, and limits the efficiency of the entire system. Think back to when cable and telecommunications companies were racing to bury many thousands of miles of cable in literal pipelines. The pipelines shielded and allowed maintenance on the wire and fiber optic cables forming data infrastructure “pipelines.”

Member Post


Every now and again I experience a powerful and strange sensation. A feeling really. Or is it an intuition? No, it’s a thought, but an unarticulated one. That’s not right either. Help!  It’s a connection to a place. No, not a connection – it’s a yearning for a connection and an understanding which I feel […]

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