Isn’t it strange when you meet someone you haven’t seen in a long time and the encounter leaves you feeling all the better for its occurrence?
Earlier in the week my partner Barbara, myself, and the little one headed out to a local shopping centre for some shopping and something to eat. When we got there, as we walked through the main thoroughfare, we happened to bump into an old work colleague of Barbara’s. She was coming from work and was delighted to have met us. We spoke (or rather Barbara and this woman spoke) for a while. They spoke of old times and memories that I could not relate to and so it wasn’t long before I kinda tuned out and found myself looking at the world going around me in the various shops and cafe’s. Then, in a second, my attention was swiftly brought back to the conversation before me. Barbara had just told her friend about how I’d converted the garage into a private therapy practice and how I was running holistic treatments and sports massage there. But it wasn’t this topic that drew my attention back. Well, not directly. It was only when Barbara’s friend mentioned how she remembered when Barbara had come into work one day and told them all of a near catastrophe with Craig and that garage. She went on, having fully grasped my attention now, about how Barbara had told them of the time we had Craig’s new bike ‘from Santa’ safely hid in the garage – or so we thought! We were in there one day with Craig, having completely forgotten about his bike, looking for something. At the last second Barbara glared at me and said ‘CRAIG’S BIKE!!!’ pointing to it with her stare. How Craig hadn’t seen it was a miracle. I quickly took an old sheet and covered it while he was looking the other way, then we all made a hasty exit.
That memory was something that both Barbara and I had completely forgotten about. Being reminded of it that day was a wonderful and unlikely gift for us both. It transported it us, if only for a second, to a better time and we relived its warmth. I could see Craig’s face as he looked for something that didn’t matter anymore. I could see the silhouette of his back as he walked out from the dark garage to the bright day outside. In an instant, with the words of almost a stranger, feelings and memories flowed from the past to the present and I smiled with my mouth and felt sorrow with my eyes.
We left that woman after a while and I eventually went for a coffee, bringing little Dean with me and leaving Barbara to have a look around the shops. As I sat there having a latte it occurred to me that something like this may happen again. After all, how many memories are buried deep in the recesses of the mind? Maybe someday we’ll bump into someone again who’ll remind us of a treasured but long forgotten memory.
Now that is something to look forward to.