If you can’t hug a loved one, hug a tree

By Linda Sagiv: 

Do you remember when we used to greet each other with a hug and a kiss towards the other’s cheek and maybe a second kiss towards the second cheek and even a third kiss back at the first cheek?  That was once upon a time.

Do you remember seeing clips of people in the Far East wearing face masks, going about their urban errands, and that seemed strange? Not anymore.  These days, pre Corona movies or tv shows with scenes of people gathering, sitting close to each other and interacting without social distancing or wearing a mask seem strange and somehow wrong.

After the first lockdown, during the period of loosening up, the first time we saw our youngest son’s children we met at The National Park Mekorot HaYarkon  near Kfar HaBaptistim. We each preordered entrance on line. We were thrilled to see each other after two months. I had received an online post with the message “If you can’t hug a loved one, hug a tree.” Taking this message to heart, I ran towards huggable trees and notified each child that I was imagining that tree was him/her. They, too, hugged trees.  We laughed and enjoyed our hugs.

During the summer months we had a few family gatherings in outdoor settings and a few quick visits. Here one family was in quarantine, there another family was. Each week, each day, each hour brought its challenges to our working children, figuring out how to juggle all their responsibilities.

Our youngest grandchild just turned two. She, needless to say, is adorable, not to mention spunky, quick and funny. During the interim period visits between lockdown 1 and our current lockdown 2, she would enter our apartment and run for a hug. That was tough!

The last time she came to visit, she entered wiggling her bent elbows up towards us, having clearly internalized the elbow to elbow rules for greeting Saba and Savta. We laughed. We could have cried.

 October 2020

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