Olivia Newport Mom and Tag

Photo by Larry Mohr

In south Florida in the middle of August, it’s hot. It’s hot in the morning, it’s hot in the afternoon, it’s hot in the evening. Overnight it cools down to what we call hot in Colorado.

People don’t tend to sit around outside.

Late one evening during my visit, Mom looked out the front door and saw the usual lack of neighborhood activity. She announced,

“I have inspected the world, and we are the only ones in it.”

It can sure seem that way sometimes! Whatever we find hard to bear in our lives isolates us. But the truth is my mother has neighbors who noticed someone new (me!) was lurking around the house, and other people she chats with when she walks the dog.

People are out there. Our lives can be so much better if we reach out and touch. It’s December 23 now, and perhaps it’s cooling down in Florida at last. I know this time of year can be painful and isolating to many people. I hope that in the coziness of my family’s love and our own Christmas traditions, my eyes will not be blind to people for whom this time of year makes them feel alone in the world.

• Who do you know who may be having a difficult time with the Christmas season? How can you help?