Friday, May 22, 2015

Old Friends Part II

Feelings come, feelings go. Good feelings? They don’t always come, but when they do, they can be overpowering. They enter deep into the inner chambers of our hearts, and stay fresh in the corners of our minds. Good feelings – they often come at the most inopportune time.

Exhausted from playing tennis the day before, I skipped my jogging routine this morning and chose to walk briskly around the Toogood Pond after warm up exercises and Tai Chi. The water level of Toogood Pond was noticeably lower than usual due to a lack of rain for more than a week. Still, it’s spring time. The new branches and foliage, still less than full grown, displayed a refreshing green and a hopeful luster unseen at any other times of the year. The Canada geese were crowding the paths of the park, showing forth their new-born goslings whose innate understanding of the art of lining up was an attraction for the tourists to marvel at.

As I walked, my thoughts turned to the numerous emails I exchanged with three secondary school friends in the last couple of weeks. They are good secondary school friends whom I haven’t seen for more than 30 years. But next month, we will have a reunion on a cruise trip from Vancouver to Alaska. No question it’s a dream come true. We’ve been preparing for this reunion for more than a year. Now we are into the final stretch of our preparation. It all began in March 2014. From searching out each other, to re-connecting, to an explosion of communications, to now waiting anxiously to see each other in Vancouver – the whole train of events raced through my head and triggered an immense amount of memories and feelings. Feelings that warmed my heart, feelings that overwhelmed, feelings…feelings that I simply had to express because they couldn’t be suppressed.

Over the last 15 months, 4 good old secondary school friends re-discovered each other - older and rather different now, but somehow still naïve and familiar as ever. The teenage selves that we saw in each other from the secondary school days are still there. Our human nature is such that the little bit of familiarity that exists in our collective psyche is enough to enable us to continue to trust each other and enjoy each other’s friendship the way we were accustomed to when we studied together in the same classroom. Over the last 15 months, we yearned to hear from each other and we communicated almost non-stop, all because of that little bit of familiarity and bonding from the teenage years – a familiarity and bonding in the human hearts we call “friendship”. Friends, teenage friends, secondary school friends – something everyone has; something so common and yet so special; something so human and yet so spiritual and overpowering!

While all these feelings were tugging at my heartstrings, I also realized with a little discomfort that I needed to prepare for the delivery of the Bible Study Program today. O, those good, heart-warming, fussy feelings…They can’t wait, can they? They always come at the most inopportune time. They pass you by if you don’t take a moment to acknowledge their unexpected visit; they speed off in a cloud of dust if you don’t accord them time to enjoy their companionship, and disappear faster than the refreshing green of spring. So Bible Study Program be damned, I must not allow these good feelings to disappear on me before they are captured in a post.

But then again, feeling is one thing, the reality can be quite another. When I was doing my undergrad in Canada, I had very good feelings about a friend in Hong Kong. But the good feelings quickly vanished the moment the two of us met each other again after my graduation. Good feelings can be fragile. Sometimes they surprise us and make us realize that they are mere illusions. Here’s hoping that they would do no such tricks on me and my secondary school friends this time!

(Note to reader: This is a sequel to another post entitled "Old Friends" dated March 30, 2014.)

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