After this past year's blizzard of turmoil both painful and stirring, I find myself still enmeshed in change. But not all change is bad! Nay! Some changes are beautious, glorious, floriferous, astounding.
Such is reconnecting with old friends. It's like the seeds you've all-but-forgotten you've planted because you had no idea that they needed a double striation period. Suddenly, you are walking down your garden path, and BAMMO! Lookie lookie Ms. Cookie, there's this dreamboat of a flower just waiting for your rapt attention!
I got this e-mail out of the blue: "It's been over 35 years, your sister told me you were living in Oregon. I'm coming up that way."
"SURE!" I respond, and send him my address & phone number, "You must come visit!" Then I remember that he has forgotten to tell me who he might be, and I have forgotten to care or ask, so I have to ask... In another e-mail of course... And he tells me, and suddenly, I am a child again, surrounded by the sweet smell of cinnamon toast in a warm kitchen with rich wood paneling. And my friend is sitting beside me as we eat this toast of the Gods together before we head off to the bus stop for school.
And suddenly, there I am, wandering around the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, the Spanish Village, in and out of every open artist studio, pestering the artists "What are you doing? How come you're doing it that way? What are you using? Why?" Especially Jan, I follow her around like a puppy, watching every brush stroke. I want to be just like her when I grow up. Mark already knows her work, so it is not as magical for him, but it is still a thing of rapture! or wonder! Even so. Even so.
I still have a printed poster -silk screened, maybe, you can feel the ink- that she gave to me long long ago when I was a child. This poster of wonder! With all the animal faces at the Zoo, all my animal friends there, except the wolf.. We didn't have any wolves back then at the Zoo.
And we wander all round Balboa Park, without chaperones, without adults, exploring, pretending to be explorers, laughing, rolling down the grassy knolls until we are breathless with laughing, and green and itchy with grass.
And here he is, at my door, after so long! SO long, and it's like we never parted, and it's like we'd been close all this time. As I looked into his face, as I sat and listened to him talk, I could see the young boy in him, I could see my childhood friend hiding behind the grown man's face, so solemn, yet so open and loving and fun. And I remember the terrible crush I had on him as a little girl! *lolol* I love his eyes still, so warm and lively.
What a lovely couple of days we have had! They passed too quickly, too quickly were we parted. And too quickly do we lose touch with these friends. When we are young, we do not know how to keep in touch. I remember that I grieved for Mark & Jan when we moved away, I missed them terribly. When we grow up some, we forget how important these friends are to us, to our psyches, to our connections to this world, so we do not hold on as tightly as we should. But as we grow older, sometimes, sometimes we get that rare Gift of second chances, and we find an old friend back into our lives. And if we are very wise, we hold on tight, we do not let go, we do not allow distance to fade our connection, we do not allow time to blur the edges of this joy in reconnecting.
And in this case, OH JOY! I am delighted! & I will not let go! Nay, I cling to you, Old Friend, like a sticky seed on a jacket hem. I nurture this, and I will nourish this connection. Thank you, Mark, for finding me after all these years, thanks for being persistent and persevering in that search. I am looking forward to your next visit! :~)
And, Dear Reader, if you ever have a chance to meet with an Old Friend, grab tight! Laugh long! Cherish your connections. They are all we have to prove we still exist.