Into a sea of friendly faces, I walked through the door. So many old friends I see too seldom, we are a tribe of waterbabies brought together by the game, but united by a common spirit. It was the annual Christmas party, which usually brings some out of woodwork who have drifted out of the pool, or the area or the country. Old friends… with histories and stories and backstories, friend/ships ~if you will allow me, gentle reader, to wax corny~ that sail through years, crossing paths occasionally, but sometimes tying up unexpectedly in the same harbor for a night. Two of my oldest friends in this community were there before my eyes, quite out of the wild blue yonder, icing on the chocolate cake.
I find dear friends where I live now, but they arrive and depart quickly, uncertain when or if we’ll meet again, connected by a brief time in a special place. But these people are the ones I don’t doubt I’ll ever see again, even when it is too long. So, after all the merry was made, hugs and kisses shared, and everyone had found their beds, I lay awake with so many good times replaying on the back of my skull. The laughter and shenanigans and adventures and competition and support in hard times were all there, in faces that light up my own whenever the wind and the tides wash us up together again. Thank you my friends, my tribe, for welcoming me home with open arms every time and without reservation.
(Sorry for the further diversion, Jimm. I know you’ll understand. Wish you had been there, too. The gorillas are coming.)