This week has several highlights. A smattering of snow making me positively salivate as I look forward to the real thing at the end of next weekwhen I return to Switzerland, for one. Last night's outing with the Byron Jones band - a great experience, and I might write more about that another time. There is audio and visual proof!
But also two unexpected friendships have been renewed this week courtesy of Google. On the left, Chris Berryman, on the right, Jon Timmis.
Chris lives in Florida, but I knew him first in Maryland when I lived out there in 1990. The rather splendid photo is coutesy of the internet movie database - IMDB - (well, I had boasted about my CD being available on iTunes!) though I could have taken it off Signal Centers, the charity for disabled folk he works for. I almost didn't recognise him: he had a beard the last time I saw him, about a decade ago!
Jon lives in York, and we knew each other in Aberystwyth, where he helped me lead the church youth group, and where he was one of my real solid friends. Then I moved to Cambridge, he to Canterbury, other things happened. We lost touch. He found me via Google and the St Caths website. He looks a little greyer than I recall - and his photo is off his academic website at York University (which loses me at the first line, "My research interest is primarily in the area of Biologically inspired computing...")
We are just starting the process of getting back in touch. I hope it works: friendships are precious things, and renewing them a great gift. Unexpected voices from the past are a special delight. They bring back memories and shared journeys, which inevitably have different colours associated with them, and I love this.
My time in Aberystwyth was not all sunshine; nor was Jon's. A renewing of our friendship will take us there again, but also gives us a chance to be friends today, and I think for both of us today is brighter. I look forwards to this.
I haven't really been in touch with Chris since both of us were starting our adult professional lives in our late 20s. I expect we are both the same as we were and yet very different. I really look forwards to seeing how he has changed and grown, and to hear his take on me. And now that he is living quite close to my sister, I'm sure it won't be long before we actually meet up again rather than just do the email thing!
Time is a strange beast. Finding friends who have shared it and used it differently and now share it again fills me with a wonder I want to express but for which I have no words. It's a child-like joy.