Time is an ugly and a beautiful thing

The sand dribbled between his fingers depositing on the small mound he’d created next to his beach chair.  Absentmindedly he grabbed another handful, straining for small shells, for what reason he wasn’t really sure.  More for something to do than for the purpose of acquiring the shells he’d accumulated in the empty Coke cup in his lap.  The waves on the shore, their soft, soothing, imminent demise, were music he’d inherited an appreciation for from his father.  His friend since his teens sat quietly to his right.

“Motor oil?!”

This had been his father’s response when he told him who’d broken his glasses and cut his nose (this always happened and frequently) in an after school flag football game.  It was a story that always made him and the man who sat next to him laugh, these 40-odd years later.  Forty years is a long time and they had filled it with so many things since that collision.  Some good and some not so good.

There had been the typical athletic events commensurate to two decent athletes through their junior year of high school.  Time playing, practicing, toiling in the weightroom; going through “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”  These days, with the vagaries of wear and tear those contests wrought, it was a dead heat which came to mind first but they both occupied a precious place in his memory.  But just as true as “One day, you’ll wish you could come back and suit up just once” he realized the most valuable part of those times and the ensuing years were the friendships they forged.  So he sat in the white sand, silent, next to his brother.

There had been heartbreak during those times and since.  Times came and went where they fell out of communication, out of contact and out of mind.  Life and kids and spouses and careers and a host of others crowded their time until there was no room to tend a connection.  Looking back he realized he couldn’t explain how they’d managed to continue their bond.  Maybe it was God, maybe it was luck or the cosmos that said their friendship should remain; the reason didn’t really matter.  If he’d learned anything over his time here he’d learned not to try and explain everything.  He’d learned simply to accept, appreciate and revel in the gift.  So here they sat, in silence.

There had already been the catching up, the re-telling of old stories, the laughter and a little, just a little, of the tough times, the regrets.  He knew age and time had equipped them to talk openly, to lay bare old feelings, hurts even, between two men.  This didn’t happen often, even today.  For all the strides apparently made in their society among men, the old barriers still remained.  Only time and experience and that other thing, whatever it was, brought that barrier down.  When it crumbled he knew they both experienced as honest a moment as was humanly possible, whether you were a man or a woman.

So the sands, like those “through the hourglass” (he could still hear the voice over) still sifted back onto the beach; continual, inexorable, inevitable.  The sand, like the everlasting moments between them, would always remain.

Friendship is an interesting thing.  Lasting friendship is even more curious.  We’re told that if we end up with two or three really good friends as adults we’re lucky.  I find that a little sad but a whole lot of true.

Just like today, every week I write about things in life a lot of us experience, at least that’s the goal.  If you would like to read more you can head to my blog by clicking this.  I hope my writing connects with you and you’ll want to read it regularly.  You can subscribe to my blog for free and do just that.  Subscribing means you’ll receive a weekly email with links to the week’s posts, nothing more, nothing less.  Subscribe here by clicking this or at the blog.

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