“You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.” Lennon/McCartney
When I was in my teens and early twenties, I spun out countless hours with friends, talking, dreaming, confiding, laughing. Life hurtled toward us at a dizzying speed. High school to college. Graduation to first jobs. In the constant rush of forward motion—new situations, new people—it was easy to lose track of old friends. To not even realize you were losing track.
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.
Auld Lang Syne: Robert Burns [English translation from original Scots verse]
Friendships rarely end in dramatic confrontations. Changing circumstances—jobs, marriage, kids—or changing values and philosophies take their toll. Not all friendships are anchored enough to withstand the inevitable drift and spin of time.
Out for an evening of dancing and beers with twenty of your “best friends” in college, the thing you don’t yet realize is that very few people will go with you through life. Or how precious those few people—the ones who knew you when you were young—will become. Even though a continent may lie between you. Even when communications are few and face time is rare.
Old friends don’t fade. Seen through the eyes of love, they acquire a timeless beauty. Forever young. A cherished buffer against the rough and tumble of the world. A bright beacon in the hazy uncertainties of the future. They are the ones from which nothing must or can be hidden. They know us through and through, and somehow love us just the same.
Old friends. This post is for them.
6 thoughts on “Auld Acquaintance”
I have two friends whom I’ve known since 6/7 grades. When we’re together, it’s like no time has passed. Thanks for your post. Happy New Year!
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How wonderful, Toni, that you’re still in touch with your childhood friends. I had hoped to include the one picture I have of my best friend from grades 5-12, but time and holiday chaos prevented that. I lost track of her shortly after college. Hey Miriam, if you’re out there, I haven’t forgotten anything. Not a single thing.
I wish I had a picture to include!
I have a pic from early days–at my house, Brenda included. If I can locate it after so many moves, I will e-mail it to you.
I know exactly how you feel. And Facebook to easily just gives you the feeling of staying in touch without a real connection
Thanks Clarissa. I agree. I’ve “met” lots of great people on FB who I would love to have coffee or a beer with, but the people who’ve lived your history with you are the ones you can call at 3 a.m. and know they won’t hang up.