Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” is a cry for connection. It is amazing how little we tend to interact with the strangers of the busy city of New York. However, we also tend to have connections throughout the day that we take for granted no matter how small it is. It may come from a simple, friendly smile when we cross strangers on the sidewalk. We might not notice this because it isn’t an active smile. That would just scare the person. Connection can come from a single “Thank You” or “Have a Great Day” to the cashier at your favorite coffee shop. Make connections by saying hello to the bus driver or the security guard at the front desk.
What amazes me about Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” is that a lot of this is prevalent in the subway. We make connections when we crowd around the break dancers in Union Square. We share the connection of trying to hold in our laughter when the conductor loses his or her temper and starts shouting “PLEASE STEP AWAY FROM THE DOORS.” We all know that people bring out their phones or children and adults look out the window when the train comes out to see daylight. It’s great feeling to know that you aren’t the only one smiling when the train goes above ground. The train cars are both figuratively and literally brightened up. In that one moment we all become one in embracing this heavenly light.
It is easy to feel alone in a busy city. Sometimes we want a lasting connection and sometimes we associate connections to words. However, we connect everyday, but we fail to see it. It is the little things that we overlook. It is the little things that makes us a little bit more happier at the end of the day. All we have to do is identify it and make things more clearer for ourselves.