“We live in a time when we have less and less personal contact,” she sighs. “With text messages and e-mails…even from my grandchildren I get fewer hugs these days.”
It’s true, isn’t it? In this electronic age, it’s far easier to reach for the smart phone and tap out a text than to phone a friend, never mind to sit down and write a letter. Time is compressed during the busy week, and quiet talks, walks, a moment shared over a cup of tea—once easily slipped into our day—have become difficult. When we do have time for a phone call or a visit, we surreptitiously glance at our watches. Time is running… and so are we.
Perhaps it’s true that this century, so different from its slower-paced predecessors, leaves little time for the things that used to matter. Not that all changes are bad—far from it. The lives of women have become enriched by possibilities that did not even exist when I was younger. One friend’s daughter will soon begin her internship and become a pediatrician. Another’s is a fine psychologist, and a third’s grand daughter is studying law. Our daughters in law have fine, rewarding careers. And men’s lives, too, have been made more meaningful as the genders reach across to each other in equality and with even more respect.
So, change is good. But some things do not change. Though the times around us move to a faster beat, the rhythm of our own hearts has not altered. The need for contact, the reach for support, the yearning for love and acceptance is within us all, as much a part of us as blood and DNA.
There’s a story here, of course. I have a dear quilting friend who was given a collection of old-fashioned fabrics by an elderly lady. After much thought and discussion, she cut and pieced these fabrics together into a bright and happy quilt for the giver’s birthday. “She cried,” she told us later. “She said that she had only owned one quilt, a quilt made by her grandmother, and that one was lost in a fire.”
Which was more special? The gift, the memory, or the caring that went into the making of that quilt? Probably all three, the last being at least as important as the others. For no matter how much the times changes, our world is still turning, and it will always turn better for friendship and love.
For in this moment
I hold not only your gift
But something of you.