Over the past several weeks, in real life and in digital life, people in my sphere of knowing are going through tough things.
Family, friends, neighbors (both analog neighbors with physical addresses nearby, and digital neighbors, with ISP addresses I can visit in cyberspace in a flash)… anyway, it seems a series of people are dealing with ‘tough stuff’…
Loved one in trouble stuff.
Loved one gone stuff.
I know it is common to refer to these happenings as ‘life’… as in ‘I’m dealing with a lot of life today’… or ‘life is intruding’. But I don’t like to think of it that way.
Life is an amazingly intricate and beautiful and complicated entity. A sensitive being, I think, with her own quirks and quiddities.
To imbue her essence with only the bad stuff would be unfair. Imagine if someone associated your name with only the bad bits of yourself… you might get snippy. And I’m telling you, you don’t want Life feeling bristle-y.
The toughest happenings in life, those which have us tumbling toward and capitulating to despair or grief or paralyzing fear… or all of these, and maybe even more…
These are not the definition of Life.
Not by a long shot.
The deepest, darkest spaces that these happenings can create?
They are not unreachable by light.
By a smile, even if through tears.
By a memory, that warms your heart… just as it begins to shiver.
By the hug from a loved one, or snuggle of a dog, or a kiss from our closest star.
With family and friends and neighbors who are close by, we can reach out or create the traditional casserole or leave cards or flowers (or the all important chocolate and wine) on the back porch. Just so they can know that they are not alone, and that we care.
But with those who live in my computer it’s a little different.
I tend to send comfort in a comment, as my heart reaches out.
But I always wonder if my comfort – my peace and love and hugs will get to them. Like, if everyone is sending love and peace and hugs into the universe, how are mine getting to the right person, and quickly.
It’s not like I think, “Oh my Gawd, I have to send a hug!” and then a menu of shipping options shows up.
Is there Saturday delivery for a hug? I don’t know.
So if I cannot count on traditional delivery mechanisms when I need to send a hug quickly, what to do?
I’m going back to basics.
Like, 5000 year old basics.
Yes, you heard me.
Only I’m training my hugs.
So I googled and found out that homing pigeons use something called ‘magnetorception’. (Right?! A multisyllabic capability is impressive all on its own!) Anyway, they use magnetic fields to find their way home over wicked long distances. ‘How?’ you may ask, and I will tell you … iron.
They have itty bitty bits of iron on top of their beaks that remain aligned to ‘north’… they are like feathered, coo’ing flying compasses!
They can also use scent (this is called olfactory navigation), and low-frequency sound waves, and even spatial recognition (they can recognize and follow roadways or other man-made features) to do what they do. Amazing! And different types of pigeons rely on different types of navigation-tological cues to different extents…. interesting….
I did read that homing pigeons once only flew one way to deliver messages…
So they would be trucked (well… 5000 years ago maybe they were just put on a wheel and pushed in the right direction)… anyway they would be somehow brought to a destination and then a little message would be five-thousand-year-ago-equivalent-to-duct-tape’d to their foot and then they would fly home. And they would get there, like, every time.
But the whole point would be defeated if I had to drive my hug to the person who needed it.
Also? Many of the people I want to ship my hugs to are more like cyber neighbors vs. actual friends so they have never seen me, and just showing up could scare them and then I might have a restraining order against me.
So then I read that, in certain areas of the world, the recipient of the homing pigeon’s messages puts out food for the homing pigeon and that trains the birds to go to them (I’m sure there are steps in there and it takes a long time but for the sake of getting this to you in under a thousand words we are going to skip those parts).
Unfortunately hugs don’t eat birdseed.
And also, I think that people who need a hug but don’t know me all that well might think it is wHeird for me to ask them to put out food for the hug I am sending. So… there’s that.
But I googled some more and guess what.
All a hug needs to attract it is someone who needs that hug.
So… whether magnetically, spatially, sound-wavedly, agnostically…
I don’t have to worry.
My homing hug will find the person who needs it.
I sent out a bunch this morning.
Thanks for readin’.
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