Monday, 31 August 2009

Park Bench.


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.


7 comments:

  1. Welcome back! Good to see another post here.

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  2. Tracey, this photo reminds me of something, a similar kind of sentiment, about recognizing the important things that we in lucky lives get to find.

    It's from the movie, Notting Hill. Yes, it's kind of fluffy. There is a scene at the end, the last scene of the movie, as I recall, where the Hugh Grant character is sitting on a park bench (like the one in your picture) with the Julia Roberts character; she is lying with her head in his lap, he is reading book, she is pregnant, the sun shines, people laugh ... it epitomizes to me a picture of the most important thing one can have in a lucky life.

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  3. Hello Brad, I began to wonder too if I had another post left in me. My friend reminded me that I did and do. Thanks.

    I know the movie very well Don and a song too by Simon and Garfunkel called 'Old Friends'. Speaking to her today felt like a breath of fresh air.

    Thank You both for dropping in, my newest but just as dear old friends.

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  4. You Remind Me.I have such a friend.I better get ringing!

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  5. Hey Tony, it's very good of you to come over considering I have been a very poor Blogger recently and yes, pick up that phone, they'll be glad to hear from you as am I.

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  6. Good to read your thoughts again. Sometimes it's hard for friendships to return to that point. It used to ache me when I tried to reconnect with lost signals to friends. Ackward silences. Talking but not conversating. Wanting to ask 'Why have you become what I heard from someone you became?'. Never doing it.

    No parkbench. No calls again. Maybe an e-mail again.

    I envy your pitstop. I used to have miles of pit stops.

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  7. Dear Matt, there is always room in this pit stop for one more.

    It is a strange and wondrous thing that my friend and I manage to connect even when years have slipped by. It works for us.

    I see you have moved on with your blog, I will update and follow where you lead. Now where did I put that other paddle...?

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