In Remembrance: The High-Five

Allan I. Fleming

There are things you never guess you will miss out on till they are long gone. For me, the higher-five is the largest one.

In my household of Revelstoke, British Columbia, the pandemic hit at a weird time. It was an epic winter season and we had been buried less than outrageous amounts of snow. Some years you can start out driving below in mid to late March, some years it’s more like mid-April. This yr it took till early Might for the first slivers of trail to arise from the crush of winter’s weight.

When they at last did, and the forest invited us in once more, it was like the gates of heaven opened. What is more, Canada’s curve did not just flatten, it dropped off considerably. Following months of being in, jogging solo, and (ugh) street biking, we could at last mountain bike with our pals once more (at the recommended length).

The trails are free now, and, on them—for superbly temporary moments that seem to be stretched in ecstasy—it feels like nothing’s wrong. Till, that is, the stop of every single experience comes, and a huge gaping void stands in for what was after the most significant ceremony of the working day.

The place I live, we never shake fingers we never have. The handshake is a stiff formality, a polite but insufficient gesture of mere acknowledgement that does not come close to chopping it. In Revelstoke, we higher-five. We do it gratuitously, unapologetically, as profusely as frat boys—regardless of gender. Whether or not it’s mainly because you just had the ideal burrito or the ideal trail experience, or you are about to have the ideal burrito or ideal trail experience, there’s only one detail to do.

We never even say hello, we just smack palms.

Which is mainly because undertaking so says so significantly more than words ever could. The higher-five normally takes full stock of a existence bathed in goodness. It’s like you are reminding every single other, every single time, “Remember, homie, we received it very good.”

So significantly of the entire world is upside down now, it’s been in particular disorienting to lose this day-to-day affirmation at a time when I experience like I have to have it most.

South of the closed border, Dr. Anthony Fauci—the Trump Administration’s direct hand on the coronavirus task force—has said he thinks society need to never go back to shaking fingers. If that is what our actuality needs, I’ll discover a way to be Okay with it. I can give up the handshake. But I’ll be damned to never slap all five of my digits from all five of somebody else’s higher up in the air once more.

People are resilient, we’ve constantly identified our way. Of all the things I’m eager to give up, hope isn’t one of them. It’s possible not tomorrow—maybe not future week, or month, or year—but some working day, we will get the higher-five back. We will have to.

This short article at first appeared on and was republished with permission.

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