While I am among the first to acknowledge the extraordinary frequency of coincidence in life’s affairs, and the collateral admission that the future is completely unpredictable, unforeseeable and unknowable, there are nonetheless moments which represent significant and seemingly irreversible demarcations.
This morning we shall point our noses in the direction of Mont Tremblant for what is likely to be a final visit with two friends whom we have known for something approaching forty years. I fully anticipate we will be enjoined to connect with them on the other side of the Pacific Ocean once they are settled there in early June of this year. However, the reality in my mind is that the division of entities will be forever separate. As such today’s event is representative of a passing of sorts, a letting go if nothing else. I do not of course view it as a macabre occasion but I am alive to its crystallizing effect.
Considering the distance that our friends have yet to travel to their new home their journey is reminiscent of the early adventurers who struck off towards what might have proven to be the edge of the world. And forgive me for saying so, but the likelihood of our friends falling off the face of the map is equally probable. I know from past experience that “out of sight, out of mind” is not a trite observation. People grow apart when separated by time and distance in spite of all the best intentions to “keep in touch”. Weeds grow up within the unattended garden.
In the material world, fashion, jewellery, homes and cars dominate the scene. Within the context of friendship the salient features are dinners, parties and outings. As long as I have known our friends they have captured the laurels for best dining, entertainment and day trips. In the early years of our association, it was nothing to be swept up in a collection of more than a hundred people at New Year’s Eve parties, often preceded by an elegant sit-down meal for twenty or more. Later years involved ski trips followed by languishing in extraordinarily posh digs on the second highest peak in the area overlooking the flying planes below. Punctuating every occasion has been mirth and personal connection, a sense of importance and deliberation, an awareness that we were all on the cusp of a fragile and delicate delight.
Friends are a precious and scarce commodity. No doubt memories of the happy times one has shared with one’s friends will provide a warm glow long after the door has long closed upon the relationship. There is however a certain loss when new adventures take people apart.