All this social-distancing has me feeling socially awkward. Now that we’re slowly (quite cautiously) entering the world again, I’m starting to bump into folks and I must admit that I feel so strange about how to approach my greetings. It’s reminiscent of those first years working as a model, “What the heck am I supposed to do with my hands?” Hugging and shaking hands are so taboo for the moment and even a fist bump could get you a fist-full of… yikes! My latest approach is usually air-hugs and air-kisses which I announce an arm-length away. As I figure out how to behave, it’s been helpful to take some lessons from our lake life.
For the past few months my husband and I have been escaping to his family’s lake house with our girls almost every weekend. The cabin is only an hour away door-to-door and has always been the best escape from the city (and a sanity-saver during Covid). Just to get out of the four walls of our tiny English cottage has been the greatest blessing. On the water our health concerns and fears seem to melt away with the sunset. Physical distancing on the lake is a breeze and wide-open spaces have always been good for the soul. They call it “lake time” and it is God’s honest truth. Life absolutely slows down at the lake. Days becomes simpler. The focus is more about being together and making memories, not about progress or checking off task lists. The friendly waters of Cedar Creek Lake are inviting and truly friendly. When we’re partying in slow motion on our pontoon and we come across another boat, a friendly competition ensues. It’s an innocent race to see who can wave first and show courtesy to their neighbor swifter than the other. In the rare moments that I miss the chance to wave at someone lounging on their dock or cruising in their boat (even if they are so far away I’m not even sure I'm seeing humans on the horizon) I feel a pang of regret and disappointment for missing my opportunity. Lake life is friendly, kind, courteous and always positive. So that’s how I need to approach my greetings during this crazy pandemic.
I’m happy to report that these lessons from lake life are showing up on the mainland in Dallas. In our regular, urban sprawl I see loads more folks outside than ever before walking, biking or picnicking on their lawns. The same game is catching on. Each neighbor seems so eager to wave, smile or shout "Hello!" first. The inner beauty queen in me can’t help but be quick with a wave of the hand, the flicker of a smile and the human connection that follows.
I can’t wait for this virus to run its course. I also hope that our lake life ways will continue, that the desire to connect with our fellow man will persist regardless of physical proximity.