... in an interaction with another

Published on 22 Dec 2020
A woman in a supermarket with a mask on

In this very dark season of Advent: when our world is in the darkest time of the year, with the light literally absent and dusk upon us at 4.30 pm and with the ongoing trauma of the pandemic which throws up new doubts daily, it is a trudge more than normal as the usual festive spirit and gatherings which shine light at this time are now more absent than ever.  Whilst I have adapted to working from home and the solitary and sedentary life it fosters I am still not sure how I will actually adapt to the Office Christmas party on Google hangouts.

I went up to the supermarket today and walked around with the other mask wearers, another barrier between us, more division, and something else that taints the sense of the festive.  Anyhow, at the checkout I took the time to ask the assistant how they were.  It was a very brief interaction but her facial expression and words as we parted told me that it was much welcomed, felt and appreciated. I reflected on how much harder it is for somebody in that position where human interaction is even more restricted and far more reduced and how mechanical the whole experience of work might now be for a person in such a position.

I myself was nourished by the interaction at the till and I am quite sure the worker was equally sustained through these dark days and this gives me both consolation and hope that light is coming back into the world.