We are back to in-person social, business and family affairs and I value it so much because in-person human connection brings joy to our lives. Over the past three years, I’ve been to zoom funerals, zoom shivas, zoom weddings, zoom bar mitzvahs and zoom baby namings.
I’ve shared in both virtual happiness and sorrow with my friends and family, too many times to count. No one looks forward to a shiva, but when the pandemic cheated me out of two, it made me truly understand how this Jewish custom brings comfort through human connection to mourners.
What a thrill it was this past Shabbat to dance the hora at my friend Laura’s daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. I radiated in genuine shared happiness with a crowd of many dancing in circles around the room. Together, holding hands with my friends, locking arms, and swinging around the room. I held back tears of pride for my beautiful friend and of gratitude to be included in a celebration we could all share together. The first hora after years of computer screens. The first hora of many more in our lives ahead.
My job has always been full of joy, but to be back in-person celebrating musicians is the cherry on top of it all. A few weeks ago, I was finally able to work backstage again and experience live music, with a crowd, in person. To feel the beat of the bass live, to see the audience experience the show together, and to dance to the real thing, and not just the sound of my headphones, was nothing short of epic. I am filled with gratitude and hope for the future.
The delight of returning to proper travel, and to run with my children on the beach, and watch them make friends. The comfort of actually meeting their teachers, and the excitement to be signed up to volunteer in their classrooms. I’m wishing each and every one that reads this, a very healthy, happy and sweet new year. A year we spend together.
L’ Shanah Tova!
Melissa Wikoff is the founder and director of Audiology at Peachtree Hearing.