When I think about the word, ‘touch,’ a thousand memories flip through my mind. It’s like one of those kaleidoscopes I used to play with as a child, where you could turn the lens and suddenly specks of every color would fill your vision. That’s how it feels when I think of touch. Physical touch, mental touch, touching a soul. There are so many versions of touch.
I lean back in my chair and feel the way the woven wood presses into my back. Touch. Above me is one of those giant mosquito-looking bugs with tiny wings and long, long legs. The other day I was in the bathroom and it landed on my arm. Such soft, gentle feet but I hate those damn things, so of course I freaked out and it flew to the other corner of the bathroom for safety. I get a shiver down my back just thinking of that kind of touch.
But touch reminds me of people I’ve loved. The way their hands have rested on my hips or lower back, how they’ve tilted my chin to look into their eyes. How a simple touch can make you feel so many emotions all—nervous and afraid and happy and giddy and grown up and like a child—all at once.
Or I think of how my parents have touched me so lovingly. My father’s arms around mine, guiding me to hit a softball. Or my mother, who has held me as I’ve cried. Or even strangers, the way they slowly move and drift around you, heading in different directions, not knowing the heat, the electricity that passes through both of you in that single moment. A single touch.
Or the wind. Or blades of grass when I’m walking barefoot. Or even how the blankets curl around my tired body when I sleep.
So many beautiful memories. All from a single word.