As I prepare for a trip west next week for a friend’s wedding, many memories flood back. She and I have been friends for nearly forty years. We have lived together in London Ontario, Paris France, and Winlaw British Columbia.
She is marrying the right man this time, and living in the right place. Nelson. Beautiful Nelson, that was “town” to us back then in the seventies.
Thanks to the wonders of Facebook, I was able to contact another dear friend, my old neighbour and sometimes sweetheart, Ely, who lived through the bush and down the mountainside from my little cabin, and ask him to be my date for the wedding. He now lives on Vancouver Island, but his son, now in his thirties, lives with his family not far from where Ely and I met in 1974.
Barbara, I see at least every two years, so we have been witness to the slow softening and sweetening of our faces and bodies.
I haven’t seen Ely since 1985, so when I first contacted him about the wedding, he was a bit concerned, I think, about what the years had done. But here’s the thing: over the past few years I have had the good fortune to meet up with several friends who have been absent from my life for decades. Some of them have just been Facebook connections, but others have been in the flesh. And here’s what I have to say about that: they all look the same. Even though some of them have added many pounds, or shed their hair and crinkled up a bit, they really truly honestly look the same to me. They say the same thing to me: you haven’t changed. Now I understand why people say that – they mean it! I believe this is because we are imprinted on each other from our first meeting. How come the people I already know don’t look old? Or the ones I haven’t seen for ages? Maybe it’s imprinting. Or maybe it’s just love.
In any case, I’m off for a wedding and a holiday with old friends, who will be as beautiful to me as they have always been.