Old friends are a steady spring rain, or late summer sunshine edging into fall, or frosted leaves along a snowy path— a voice for all seasons saying, I know you. The older I grow, the more I fear I’ll lose my old friends, as if too many years have scrolled by since the day we sprang forth, seeking each other.
Old friend, I knew you before we met. I saw you at the window of my soul— I heard you in the steady millstone of my heart grinding grain for our daily bread. You are sedimentary, rock-solid cousin earth, where I stand firmly, astonished by your grace and truth. And gratitude comes to me and says:
“Tell me anything and I will listen. Ask me anything, and I will answer you.”
The older we get the stranger my husband becomes, and the less certain I am that I know him. We used to lie eye to eye, breathing together in the immensity of each moment. Lithe and starry-eyed, we could leap fences even with babies on our backs.
His eyes still dream off toward something in the distance I can’t see; but now he gazes more zealously, and leaps into battle with a more certain voice over politics, religion, or art, and some old friends won’t come to dinner.
The molecules of our bodies spiral off into the stars on winds of change and chance, as we welcome the unknown, the incalculable, the spirit and heart of everything we named and knew so well— and never truly named, or knew, but only loved, at last.