Yesterday I was blessed to have a visit from dear friends of my teenage years. It has been over 20 years since I last saw them, because they now live in Ottawa, some 4000 km away. We keep in touch through letters (the paper kind!) and Facebook, so we have exchanged photos and life events, but we haven’t seen each other in lifetimes (those of 3 children between us, I think)
The door bell rang, they stepped inside, and it was as if our last visit was yesterday. It gives a glimpse into the concept of eternity. If our own experience is that time folds upon itself when old friends come together, a life time is measured in a blink.
I’m reminded of Joe Abernathy’s comments to Claire with respect to high school reunions in Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber. He says, “you see all these people you haven’t seen for twenty years, and there’s this split second when you meet somebody you used to know, when you think, ‘My God, he’s changed!,’ and then all of a sudden, he hasn’t—it’s just like the twenty years weren’t there. I mean”—he rubbed his head vigorously, struggling for meaning—“you see they’ve got some gray, and some lines, and maybe they aren’t just the same as they were, and you have to make yourself stand back a ways to see that they aren’t eighteen anymore.”
I sure wish Ottawa was a whole lot closer. The worst thing about seeing someone you haven’t seen in 20 years is how much you wish you could spend more time with them. Good-byes are extra sad.
Thank heaven for Facebook. 🙂