July 11, 2008

Lemonade Out of Curveballs

        
          Life, as is its want, has thrown me a few curves of late. It took quite some time but I can now safely say that I can hit a curveball. With my new found talent there has been a marvelous awakening in small things, the minutiae that makes it all worthwhile, those often overlooked moments that make each of our unique passages through life so delightful. Not a few moments ago, I was speaking with a dear friend of many years with whom touch had been lost. Reconnecting and rehashing, reliving and revisiting. On one ear sat my little red cell phone relaying the happenings, the comings, the goings, the news of my old friend to my thirsty ear. The other, a bad and wayward ear, was eavesdropping, as it is fond of doing, on one side of a conversation my son was having with a friend that he has had from first minute, first hour, first day of first grade. My own conversation, having been sparked by a flurry of “old friend” contact of late, was meandering through high school memories of the mid 1960’s. That rather tumultuous time that so formed myself and my friends of long standing. We had all been together since, at least, 8th grade. Some longer. We shared highs, lows, successes, failures and, shared endlessly, incessantly, stories and dreams of girls. It is, more often than not, these stories of loves, of losses, of conquests, of imagined conquests, of crushes and crushing, that fuel our memories. The never ending give and take of our relationships with the opposite sex that seem to drive and inform most memories. If not directly then, always, at least, tangentially. No wonder sex sells. So........as my errant ear listens unbidden to my high school senior son’s conversation, I realize.....he’s forming the same deep, time tested, on again, off again, on again, helpful, hurtful, oh so important relationships that my renaissance is now enjoying. As I rejoice in the promise of many future moments with my friends, I imagine the next 50 years of his friendships. Where will they go, what will befall or uplift them. How will they drift asunder only to reunite at some often unexpected place or time with unexpected consequences. Once, when at anchor in a bay on the southern tip of St. Lucia, while making way to Grenada, a chance encounter with an old friend in a small bar drastically, and, I thought, sadly, altered my life course. However rocky that life detour was, had it not occurred, I would not now awaken daily to the woman who has since held my heart in her mysterious soul, and, to the beloved voice (to which I am now listening) which would express its supreme displeasure if, at any time, it were to become aware that I was eavesdropping on the discussion between “old” friends of the girl they both covet. That voice belongs to my raison d’etre, my son, and it was an old friend, that in an odd simple twist of fate, gave him to me. As the wife of one old friend I know is oft heard saying, “ain’t life grand.” So, get thee hither and make that call you have been putting off, find that lost love, lost friend – be you young or teetering on the edge of dotage – you never know what’s coming and not knowing is what makes it so much fun.
   
       

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