In the reach of this young child in Ethiopia to a friend—or perhaps, a sibling—is everything. It is hope, connection, communion, vulnerability, intimacy, comfort, casualness, possibility. It might even be an apology following an unexpected rift, or simply a longstanding habit of touching, of instinctively seeking and finding the rewards of skin-to-skin contact.
In that outreached arm is also an announcement: I am here and you are close beside me. We are conjoined, intertwined, stepping along this path as a team. And it is reassurance to the self and to a companion that we are not alone as we venture into the day’s journey. Lastly, it is fragility, because the moment will surely pass and dramatically, may never occur again. It may be the final touch.
In the coming year, my wish is to not forget the power of one gesture such as this reaching arm. My wish is to demand of myself and ask of the universe multiple demonstrations of infinite love. We have the capacity for it and certainly, love finds expression in nature, animals, humans who treat other humans, all sentient beings and the planet with dignity, respect, curiosity, and reverence.