For When We Feel Disconnected

Early on a cool, sharp New York City morning, I see a woman in a coffee shop.

She is young, maybe late twenties. She sits at a high counter facing the street. As I pass by her, she takes off her glasses, closes her eyes, and rubs the fragile skin around them.

And in that moment, she is unguarded and defenseless, fragile as the skin she is rubbing.

Just below our tough protections, we are tender creatures. But it is easy for me to mistake the protections for the person.

Then I see this briefly unprotected woman, and I am reminded of the fuller story living beneath our outerwear.

For her, I wish ease and many hands to hold her along the way.

For me, I wish to remember this. To treat everyone not as the tough people we perform as, but as the tender souls we are.

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