Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oh happy happy day

A good friend came to Vancouver from the Island for a conference, and fortunately, we were able to squeeze in a brief visit. We hadn't seen each other for over two years (really?!), but it did not seem that way at all. As I walked in the midst of the end-of-November drizzle on this Saturday morning, there was a lilt in my step. I was traipsing through the downtown streets with purpose. We went to Cafe Artigiano, the place with the fancy foam-art on our lattes. On our way there, outside the art gallery, there was a small crowd of eclectic people holding signs. "What are they protesting?" I wondered to myself. As we got closer, we saw that their signs read, "Happy happy day!" They were giving everyone who passed by high-fives. Even I couldn't help but slap that hot-pink mitt with a silly grin on my face. How utterly refreshing.

At the cafe, we enjoyed our lattes, remembering the times we had spent together, those days that seemed so long ago and yet were so vivid still. E is the friend with whom I had nibbled my stoned wheat thins at the kitchen table late into the night, commiserating for hours on end as the darkness closed in outside. Later today, during a late lunch, she dug out a sheet of paper from her little purse. It was a list she and I and a bunch of friends had scribbled out during a particular night of drunken lucidity almost five years ago, when we brainstormed the advantages of having a band of diverse and interesting women in a lonely northern town. That group of women had disbanded long ago, and I'm only really in touch with E now.

Oh happy happy day indeed, when certain people remain in our lives even as others drift away. With those certain few, all it takes is a phone call, an e-mail, a short visit to reel in that thread that has stretched over time and space, in order to reconnect, reminisce, laugh, and be glad.

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