Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Passage of Time

Time flies. I've heard this expression since I was a pre-schooler, yet this last year and a half have really brought it home to me. Am I really busier than in the past, or have I just slowed down with age? I suspect both are true.

Summer 2013 is done. While the days remain sunny and relatively mild, (winter clothing is not yet a necessity) they are shorter, and the approach of winter is imminent and evident. While I find this time of year sad, it also has a certain charm that I enjoy.

A couple of weeks ago, I returned to my homeland to celebrate my mother's 90th birthday with her and our family. A special thank you to my niece and cousins who conspired to hold a wonderful surprise party for her!  While I was there, I stayed with my cousin and his wife in their beautiful new home. It was with this cousin and his parents, my aunt and uncle, that I spent a lot of time as a boy and teen, and for many years he was more like an older brother than a cousin.

Being home again was a wonderful experience on so many levels, and the days I spent meeting with old friends and visiting my old haunts (except one) reminded me of the days long ago when after school, I'd walk in the fields along the forest’s edge, enjoying the late summer sun before supper and homework. While summer is my favourite season, as a schoolboy, it had a sense of aimlessness that in retrospect I realize became a bit boring by late August, and I began to anticipate the beginning of the new school year. I also looked forward to seeing classmates who lived too far for me to see them during our seemingly endless summers.

By the time I had reached my teenage years in Junior High, I was developing an interest in the opposite sex and looked forward to seeing certain girls on whom I had developed crushes. The extra activity of after-school functions allowed for socializing and a chance to form lasting friendships that in many cases still exist today.

While I was home I had a chance to finally see my sister's cottage. It was built several years ago and the chance to visit just never came when I was in the area. It is located on a large lake and has a coziness that makes it an ideal location for “getting away from it all.” If I lived closer, I'd certainly become a pain in my sister's ass! We (my sister, mother, nephew and I) took a drive down to another cottage closer to the water where Mom and my sister sat and chatted while I flew my kite and my nephew hung out. We all enjoyed that day fully before Mom and I returned to the city and had dinner together.

Another event that occurred, and one for which I am very grateful, is the reunion of an old band, Cozway. The four of us played together in the late 1970s and while it didn't seem to matter much then, we had formed a strong bond of friendship and love of the music we played. We didn't perform publicly this time; we barely played an hour but hung out together for another two hours after our little musical get together. The fact that it felt so good to be playing music together again made us all consider the possibility of getting together again next year and actually doing a couple of public performances. We'd need to all do some homework beforehand, and spend a few evenings in rehearsal before we took to the stages, but it's doable, especially given the level of musicianship we all have risen to. (although I still feel I am the weakest player of the four) The Bass Player's former girlfriend drove down from Ontario to witness this and spend some time with her family as well as her old friends. It was heart warming to see her again. I feel closer to her today than back in the '70s.

Locally, while a couple of musical doors have closed to me, another has opened, and I am really looking forward to it.

A young band who have been together only a short time have lost their drummer and have asked me to fill in until they can find a replacement; a task I am very happy to take on. They play mostly Blues, with a bit of Classic Rock thrown in for good measure, and I had recently mentioned to my spousal unit how I'd love to be playing more Blues. (I should also tell her that I would love to have several million dollars to play around with!)

We cannot stop the passage of time, and as we grow older, time seems to speed by more rapidly, so it is important to make that time count. Renew old or damaged friendships if possible, and hold your family close. All too soon we will all be memories, and it's important for the next generation to consider us good memories!

~Still Wandering...

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