Driving down the same old streets, somehow everything’s the same, and yet everything seems new.
I went and saw an old friend today. A friend I hadn’t seen in years. Funny how you can pick up with someone where you left off, after so long. Funny how you can still have so much to talk about, after so long.
And even though years slipped by, those old friends still know things about you that others perhaps don’t. And you still know things about them, that others perhaps don’t. And those things don’t necessarily need to be spoken about, or said, they just are, or were. There’s something really special in that, something I perhaps hadn’t acknowledged, or honoured, until now.
Funny how it can all just come flooding back – in an instant.
As I drive these old streets, the same old streets I have driven thousands of times before, memories ambush me. They flood out of old houses, parks, shops, sections of footpath and road. They hide behind trees, in paddocks, and sneak out of songs. They are triggered by a sunrise, frost on my windshield, noon hour and rippling sunsets. They are tucked away in bush tracks, under bridges, beside rivers and streams. They are revealed subtly in the smell of gum leaves, and the arrangement of foliage on the ground. They are in the damp dirty corners, where moss grows. They are on beaches that stretch out forever with not a footprint, not a soul to be seen. They are in the rocks on those beaches, and the marks on those rocks. They are in the seaweed, and the smell of the grey of the ocean – dark and icy.
And they are in old friends, lighting up their faces with familiar smiles.
They come flooding back with words…
It’s good to see you again.
It’s good to be back.
No matter the distance, and the years that have melted away. No matter where I’ve been, or where they’ve been, what I’ve done, or what they’ve done…
And maybe when I look at those old friends, I will always see us as we were – so young and so free – even though much has changed, and been and gone.
But it’s nice just for a little while, to slip back, and pretend all those years didn’t go by… and that time stopped – somewhere between grade 10, and the corner shop.