Maybe just two unconnected events, two unconnected people – both met in my ole Edmonton days. Doing the math, I think both are from about twenty-four years ago.
Both are social workers, both would rank in my top-50 of ‘kindest people I know’.
Maybe, just two peculiar, yet similar occurrences this week – not alike, but similar enough to make me think, wonder, ponder. I lack any conclusion …
A few days ago, someone I’ve not heard from (she moved to Vancouver and wished to exit-communicate .. always wondered if that was her wish, or her soon-to-be husband’s) for about nine years. Or was it ten? An e-mail advising she was in town – asking would I like to get together? We couldn’t line up times that worked. After exchanging perfunctory information, agreed to chat soon once she was back in Vancouver. Amazing, someone who had been out of touch so long (we had been friends for many years), suddenly caused me to re-live some of those times in my mind. Hmm … many memories.
Last night, old friend AH came over for dinner. I’ve talked to him a few times a year – but as we got chatting, we concluded it was about ten years since we’ve gotten together. His gray hair, now white. As we recounted old memories (we’d sat on a board together) it was clear to me he’d forgotten some significant things, ones I didn’t think he should have. Is that a sign of something? Or were those bits just more important, more vivid, for me. He didn’t stay long – he had a meeting to go to. It was a great visit, just too short. We’ll have to do that again soon when he has more time.
Maybe, in time, all our friends become old friends.
All our friends get gray, go white, and get forgetful.
Maybe, in fullness of time, we have less in common than ever, but feel that strength of connection more strongly than before.
Maybe I’m having a profoundly mortal moment.
Maybe this is a reminder to see old friends more often whether they want to see us or not.
May all your friends become old friends. Very old ones.
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: 14C/58F, sprinkle-drizzly, incredible calm, dark and quiet – perfect conditions for a very early and very long walk. Gusta, it seemed, didn’t know what the occasion was. I woke, not from an alarm, but from a delicious sleep feeling completely refreshed. That doesn’t happen enough – so a very long walk in the silence seemed to me to be the smartest move