The cold shoulder and phone distraction of fellow walkers on my daily exercise in my neighbourhood is transformed by coronavirus to cheerful comments on birdsong and observations of early spring blossom.

I’d passed this lady by almost every morning for the past five years. She going her way and I mine.

She never smiled.

Sometimes I thought of that quote that says never judge anyone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

So I never failed to turn my head in case it was the day when her eye met mine and we’d acknowledge our shared endeavour…….
A morning walk.

For the past three weeks, almost everyone who crosses my path warmly greets me and other walkers and cyclists.

The joggers, particularly the serious ones, need to stay focused. Eyes fixed dead ahead, they surge ahead and good on them.

I say good morning and it feels so good. Similar I wonder to my little dog’s nose pinned to the ground, picking up the scent of the news of the day, my good morning helps me read the mood.

We’re all in the same boat, rising and falling together as the news comes through.

Three more weeks lockdown.
The numbers in ICU are falling.
Jobs will be lost.
Children and parents playing together.
Front Liners need to be protected.
Bird song louder that ever remembered.

Today the lady said Hello.

She’s my friend now and friends say Hi.
Of course we’re friends.
We’re dancing aren’t we!

All of us moving as though strictly choreographed, stepping in and then out, across and then back again dancing the social-distancing waltz over and over again.

We know or are fairly close to knowing how the other is feeling.
We know or are close to knowing how their day is going.
We know their hopes and fears are similar to our own.
We know now that what they want isn’t a new car or to take two weeks off work.
We know they want their families and themselves to be safe and well.

We say hello because we are friends and when we’re out walking…….
we’re all waltzing a mile in the other’s shoes.