Walking the downtown streets, I’d felt a little lost and a little lonely. I’m always good on my own, but for some reason I felt displaced this afternoon. Maybe it was because a friend had reached out to me earlier asking if I wanted to hang out, only to recant a couple of hours later because other friends made her a more compelling offer.

I hadn’t planned anything for the evening, but suddenly I felt as if I wanted to go out. So I got on the subway and decided to try a new restaurant I’d been reading about.

As I walked down the street, a little too early to walk in the restaurant, I looked down and the word “love” caught my eye on the curb. An odd, but welcome, aftermath of my August gratitude series is that love seems to follow me everywhere. I see it represented constantly: in street art, poetry, jewelry, in hearts that appear in random places.

It is a beautiful gift and a constant reminder to be present.

I saw the word love, which looked to be carved in the concrete, and then noticed that it was part of a phrase.

“Love is touch.”

An odd sentiment.

I’d just come from a manicure and my favorite part is always the hand massage. It makes me feel cared for. I live alone and am not in a relationship, so it reminds me how important human touch – and connection – is in life.

I noticed the phrase, and as bloggers do, I contemplated taking a picture. But I kept moving, more intent on quickly window shopping than on snapping a photo of a phrase that puzzled me.

As I walked down the street, I looked in the window of a beautiful jewelry store. In the store was a friend of mine, who was working. I opened the door and his face lit up, happy to see me. He reached out to me and gave me a big hug.

His hugs are tight, all-encompassing, long-lasting embraces.

I walked around the store, admired the breathtakingly beautiful jewelry, and said goodbye, promising to make plans to have a drink.

“Come here again,” he said, giving me another hug.

I didn’t want to end.

“You were a happy surprise in my day,” I said to him when we finally let go.

He replied, “The Universe put us in each other’s path today.” Indeed.

Love is touch.

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