Auld Lang WHAT? On Friendship


Auld Lang WHAT?

Zine? Sign? After a bit ‘o Googly magic I found that the song that has perplexed me for nigh on forty years is an ancient Scottish ditty and, roughly translated, the phrase “Auld Lang Syne” means “times gone by.”

Boy do I hear that.  Where has the time gone?  Monica and I have known each other for 31 years.  We met on a blustery day (I’m assuming it was blustery because Cheyenne always seemed blustery) in the 4th grade on a gravel-strewn school yard.  I was a gangly girl with a Dorothy Hamill haircut and dark green velour pants while Monica was tall (and made taller by her clogs), dainty and feminine at 10 years old sporting frilly dresses and lacy shirts.  Despite our different fashion senses (okay, actually I didn’t have a fashion sense) we became fast friends.  The Universe tore us asunder in the six grade as my mom packed up my Holly Hobbie room and Monica and I clung to each other sobbing and covered with collective snot before I too was pried away and loaded up in the U-Haul.

Despite predictions from both of our families that we would make new friends and forget each other we’ve nurtured our friendship over the years and watched it grow from seedling to mature Redwood.  Yes, there have been years where we’ve been out of touch, with just the occasional hand written letter to maintain that connection, but even when five years have passed without a face to face visit we’ve managed to pick up right where we’ve left off, as if no time has gone by at all.

Sadly this isn’t the case with all of the dear friends I’ve made over the years in different cities and different school yards.  I’ve been searching for Sheila Young for twenty years.  We met when I lived in Aurora, Colorado where we attended Smoky Hill High School together and she had one of the most beautiful souls I had ever encountered and she still crosses my mind with a frequency I can’t quite fathom.  But another U-Haul came, time went by, and we fell out of touch.   I lost her.

This New Year I would like to wish you an abundance of joy, a passel of blessings, and a year chock full of love.  And as you’re singing Auld Lang Syne, hopefully among dear friends, perhaps you’ll be inspired to reconnect with an old friend and “drink a cup of kindness yet for times gone by.”

Around the Corner by Charles Hanson Towne

Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone.
And I never see my old friends face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell.
And he rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.
"Tomorrow" I say! "I will call on Jim
Just to show that I'm thinking of him",
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.
Around the corner, yet miles away,
"Here's a telegram sir," "Jim died today."
And that's what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.

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