I found an email from an old friend this morning and decided to give her a ring on the spur of the moment. Even though it has been some time since we last spoke, we picked right on up from where we had left off, sharing stories, laughing about time moving on and worrying that we hadn't made the best use of it. We talked about our children, their schools, growing up and how you begin to realise that life is about so much more than the list of wants and desires we made back in college.
Twenty years plus have somehow come and gone, perceptions have changed and personal ambitions shelved to be replaced by the demands of children and the needs of ageing parents. We have become the filling in the sandwich of time.
Long ago, my friend and I made a promise that when we are old and done fighting with the world we will meet at a park bench to chew the fat and reflect. We laughed as we made our pact having spied a couple of doppelgangers in their dotage doing exactly that as we cavorted youthfully over the grass to wherever it was we were going. Not long afterwards we got onto the roller coaster of life and haven't heard much from each other since apart from cards at Christmas and birthdays which strangely seems to have been enough. Our friendship has that rare quality which exists beyond the measure of time. There is no awkward silence in the sporadic telephone calls between us, only joy to hear the sound of each other's voice reminding us at once of whom we were and where we have been.
She is my pit stop and I am hers, a touchstone of encouragement in times of doubt; ready to re-assure and re-affirm the confidence we had in our youth but perhaps lost sight of along the way. One brief conversation is enough to know that for all the years passed there are still plenty more to come bringing with them adventure, new challenges and worlds to discover before the draw of the park bench at last calls us home.