Reaching for the real

This anxious time has caused a shift in relationships. I know it has shifted mine. I can see it. And it’s a good shift, a shift toward valuing what is real, what has meaning, and letting go of relationships that need to be surrendered.

It’s becoming clearer what matters.

My home life is happy. I live with a man who makes me laugh, who is convinced I’m a better human than I am, who values kindness and honesty.

My family is comprised of several adults with lives, challenges, and differences of view, scattered within a few hours of each other. This long, enforced separation has brought about something good, something I hope will last.


The ties among us, never broken but sometimes neglected because we’re so damned busy, are strengthening. We are reaching out to each other, making plans to try to see each other, in whatever fashion of seeing is possible. We will not allow ourselves to drift apart. It’s not just one of us. It’s all of us, reaching out toward each other in a beautiful web that encircles us all.

That web reaches out to others as well. Friends and distant relatives touch base periodically. We check in, find out how everyone is, what we can do to help. There’s a connection that we’re checking, making sure it’s there. We care, and it is important to say so these days.

I have reached out to people I once considered close friends, people who are now strangers, to reconnect, only to thank them for what they brought to my life. It feels like it needs to be said.

Then there are friends, people I’ve loved, who have drifted away. And that’s all right, too. Friendships have seasons, and these are people who have moved on. This stressful time has cut cords that must have been ready to be cut. And I’m grateful for the time I had, for the memories made.

This is one of the lessons I’ve learned from this time. Gratitude and connection are everything.


Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.