I did not realize how much I missed hearing my name called out in the grocery store until this morning. “Cris, Cris Nole!” The sound of a somewhat familiar voice came from behind me. A hug to my heart as my new friend greeted me with a warm hello.
Coming from a community where I lived for almost 17 years, going to the store without running into someone I knew was virtually impossible. I learned about ten years into being a resident of my last community that it was important for me to leave extra time to visit with people in the market, gas station, parks and sidewalks. These connections gave me the sense of belonging that every human being longs for.
Needless to say, yesterday when I heard my voice floating through the air at the local super market, I felt like I was at home for the first time since moving to our new community. It had been over three months since I ran into someone I knew. It has been lonely at times, standing in line with my groceries and not recognizing a single soul.
Hear me out. It is not that I have this need to hear my name as much as the need to connect into community. I love people, strangers are just friends I have not met yet. This is why leaving my life, as I knew it after all these years was not easy.
However, I am able to celebrate a new chapter in my life, all because someone called my name out loud. I am looking forward to hearing my name more in the middle of the market, at the mailbox and on the sidewalks. When I hear my name, I will know that I am connecting more into my new community.