Have you ever listen to a piece of music that washed over you with an intensity that formed wells of sorrow and sadness as well fueled a sense of hope, all at the very same time? That is the feeling I had this afternoon as I listened to the piece called Memories by Ryan Stewart. The soft dance of the piano keys as Ryan’s fingers gingerly played up and down the keyboard. The speeding up and slowing down and moving to high and low notes as if teasing you, or showing you what it is like to have the rolling surf move into and out of a rocky bay. I can see the seagulls playing and hear them squawking as they plunge down into the water and then come back up with the catch firmly caught in their beaks.
For the past few days, I enjoyed one of those weekends that will be renewed in my mind each time I think of the sudden greening of the trees after a long winter. That delicate lace that appears in a gentle celery green, barely gracing the tree limbs. Just beginning their entry into spring and announcing that winter is likely over. This weekend, the tree limbs went from bare to slightly green, not quite full bloom. And on this weekend, I had my friend by my side. We visited our old haunts. We were quiet at times in the car. She is the kind of friend that allows space for thoughts, the kind where you don’t really have to talk all the time. You can just be. It was a short quick weekend. Not quite the amount of time I needed, a gentle hello and then just as quick, goodbye. Oh how I miss her as weeks and months tumble over themselves and life passes by. I long for those days again, when each weekend is a special treat. A time to laugh, enjoy a coffee, discuss the week’s events and reflect on personal wants and needs. An authentic and deep friendship. I have lovely acquaintances in my life, people whom I care for and with whom I yearn to grow in deeper and deeper friendship with over time. The kind of friendship that I have with my Anam Kara. That is what she is to me, Anam Kara. A Celtic concept that completely describes who she is in my life. Well, on reflection, I know now that this friendship is something that we both took a bit for granted. We didn’t really know what we had until it was gone. We had moved on to different chapters in our lives – equally. It has been four years now since she moved thousands of miles away and we began our long distance friendship. I treasure her more than ever. And, I hope we will maintain this depth of connection for the rest of our lives. That time will not erase us.
This past weekend and its newly formed memories has led me to the thought of chemistry. Of investment. One does not cultivate this kind of depth in friendship without the requisite investment of time to nurture and feed that friendship. Intentional moments. Thoughtful expressions, recognizing that which is beautiful in one another on a regular basis and sharing insights, cradling one another through challenges and persistently supporting one another through decisions, ambitions, hopes and fears- through the good and the bad. Praying for each other. Checking in and finding out how things are going. An important regular feature in sustaining a depth in friendship. And, oer time, this nurturing endeavors to solidify the ties that bind us all together.
Dropping her off at the airport today was rough. As we pulled her suitcases out of the trunk and we said our standard goodbyes… as we hugged and she turned and she pulled the roller board up onto the sidewalk and waved, and as I waved and as I left her and said to her: “Safe Travels” – she replied simply: “Thank you”. And then, she walked through those automatic doors into the terminal, and I watched as her blue sweater dissolved into the dark back drop of the interior of the building until she was gone. All of those things are a standard fare for a long distance friendship. And as all of this happened, as I found myself climbing back into the driver seat, turning the key in the ignition, putting the car into drive and releasing the brake – rolling away gently from the curb and heading towards the exit ramp … with all of those actions and my movement towards afternoon errands, putting myself into an automatic pilot position, I basically sank into a stupor. A hard to come to grips with melancholy descended upon me and I know that it will likely hover around my shoulders for weeks to come. I miss her already and I dread the void she creates when we part ways.
I will return to business as usual. I will get my haircut today. At the moment, I sit in a coffee shop and write this entry and sip on an Iced Coconut Nirvana concoction. I try to concentrate on ideas for the novel. I consider a future schedule of work commitments, group friendship commitments and future weekend brunch commitments. And I will enjoy them all. I will learn to cherish those moments as much as my time with my sweet Anam Kara. And, I will look forward to our future encounters which we have promised each other to plan, make sure to schedule something soon, so we can again reconnect. It’s my turn to come to her hometown, to finally see Mount Pearl. And, when that happens, we will come together again and we will start the conversation right where we left off.
For that is how it is with an Anam Kara.
And today, I am so truly grateful to be able to say that have at least one Anam Kara in my life.