I recently had the opportunity to speak at a conference and share some of the trials and triumphs I experienced last year. At the end of the event a small older woman came to me and asked if she could hug me. She then fell into my arms and wept for a while. I held her. When she had composed herself, she took off her mask and I discovered that she was struggling with face cancer. Her mask was both necessary and painful. She knew I understood. My story had given her hope. She had something to look forward to.
I believe many of us are tired and disappointed. We long to see a smile instead of a mask. To shake a hand instead of fist bump. To hug someone instead of experiencing awkwardness. We look forward to gathering with family and friends without worrying if we are standing too close.
It is with the same kind of hope that our Headland Main Street volunteers plan this year. Our attitude is one of hopeful expectation. Our business and restaurants are open. Concerts and events are being planned. We look forward to gathering with friends and family, eating good food and listening to bands play from the gazebo. To painting murals and playing cornhole on the square. To walks in the park and good conversation with friends. And I plan to share a few more hugs!