Sunday, 25 April 2010

An unexpected meeting

Something is moving in the Universe.

I had expected to take my cold and sore throat into the sunshine and spend the day gardening, tidying things for when I take my trip. At 9am that was definitely the case. By 9.30am all had changed. Arrangements were made to collect an old friend I had not seen for close to 19 years, from Auckland, and bring her back to my place. Thanks to her enterprising daughter and Facebook my day turned into reflection of past, present and future with the only friend I have who has known me from 1970.
Lorraine and I attended Papanui High School in Christchurch together, she a year ahead of me. We both played the violin in the school orchestra. We both learned french though she was always more competent than me and when she left a year ahead of me it was such a shame.

We've had rare connections over the decades. Our lives have gone in very different directions, but as I watched her chatting away to me at my very own dining table I couldn't help but appreciate that it was HER, her mannerisms, her smile, her chatterbox style and self-deprecation. A gentle and humble person who hasn't changed a bit inside. Not an iota. How magical how the years in between don't matter at such moments.

I don't have anything in Auckland to connect me to that old life I had back in the '70s, in Christchurch but suddenly here was an unexpected connection. Someone who knew that ME. I think it's really important, so valuable, that as we go through our lives with all its fast-paced changes and reinventions of ourselves we have an opportunity to rediscover a part of ourselves, to go back and look at the past through the eyes of the present.

It was fabulous to have her in my home and so easy for us to share and talk and I thought "No wonder I always loved her as a friend then because I can still see why now". You had to be there. Then and today. A friend with shared experiences and sometimes a better memory for the things I've forgotten. Those funny little details of everyday life.

A friend who totally understands that I really need France and hope France needs me some day. A friend who is genuine and honest is not easy to find.

As I watched her about to enter the terminal at the airport tonight I saw her turn and look around for me in my car, another chance for us to wave to each other and I thought WOW. And the price of a beautiful and unexpected day is I miss her more than I did yesterday. I hope she'll keep in better touch. I hope there will be more todays in our tomorrows.

2 comments:

Tim said...

Hi Frances,

Wow you must be getting excited about your trip! I know exactly what you mean about the 'unknowns' I am so excited, nervous, scared, protective (for my girls) and the list goes on and on with our trip/move to UK only 2 weeks away now...

I hope you have a truly awesome time in Paris and that your trip is all you want it to be.

You are a truly remarkable woman and certainly left a huge impression on me, Life deals us some bad cards sometimes, I have had a few but I hope I can be like you and stay strong through the tough times, but most importantly to remember to focus on the future and being happy in ourselves and never compromising our happiness for anyone or anything! I look forward to reading your blog and hearing about your adventures. Julie x

Shams said...

This is the best experience someone can ever have! to meet someone you cherished from your past. I am glad you enjoyed that day :)
Shams

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