Why do you touch me when we talk?

One of my fellow mates asked me this question this evening. I tend to reach out to those I am speaking with when I want to make sure that the person knows I am hearing them; important in my profession. This simple gesture is my “Southern” means of establishing a bond because this regard is more powerful than just speaking alone.
Why do I touch my sailing mates? (I touch all of them when we are speaking one on one most of the time). I have begun to consider them as my brothers on this journey. I have also seen that they long for the intimacy of the soul and affirmation. I say this because we may spend hours at our daily tasks without saying a single word, yet I touch each one at some point during the day if only to acknowledge them as vital to my existence. We are all crucial to this task in some way.
I thought about the answer to this question at some length before drifting into sleep (a much-needed nap). I establish fellowship with a simple touch, perhaps a bit “old-fashioned” but that simple gesture gives me a distinctive manner that acknowledges the person as most valuable.

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