Secret Police


Last week, as I was coming out of the Co-op, I saw something remarkable, telling, and quite possibly a serious harbinger of things to come if we are not careful. Something at once to be inspired by, and fearful of. Something that was encapsulated in one brief moment in time through the simplest of gestures. Human contact.

Two employees were passing one another; one coming into the store, the other going out. They did not see me watching them. As they passed one another, they connected hands with a soft, down-low high five in the most subtle of ways. An interaction that if you had not been paying attention to, you would have missed.

I watched them, mesmerized by the strength of the human spirit finding its way into flesh. Into expression. Into contact. This, despite the sterilizing restrictions mandating against such a thing. I smiled. But the employee coming into the store never saw that. Instead, when he saw me watching them, he startled back.

So much there in such a “small” instant. Do you see it? For to see this is to see what it is that is happening, along with what it is that we would never want to happen. Do you see that too?

For beyond all that we believe we need to do, or have been told we need to do, there must always be some things we would never want to lose. Or agree to. Or forget. Or become. Or do to one another.

Looking back, I wish I had done something to indicate how I felt about the hopefulness of that gesture. About the fact that I am clear I am no public shamer nor self-appointed secret police.

Given what we are up against here, all of the confusion, the fear, the uncertainty and more, could we at least agree to not turn against one another? Could we at least agree to never lose track of what it is that brings health and hope to a human being?