It was a dreary day today.
Ugly clouds combined with a slow, mostly constant rain that was more sprinkle and drizzle than anything worth measuring.
The “rain” was the kind of rain that just makes everything miserable. The kind that loves to follow a week of nearly everyone being snowed in. And loves to add its weight to already soaked ground and nasty mud.
I know Spring is around the corner, and hope, beauty, and life will arrive in the air soon, but today had me thinking about something I’ve been chewing on for a while now. (Actually, for most of the winter.)
And that’s about long, lost friends. And, no, I don’t even mean those who’ve moved on to the next life.
I mean those who just move on. Sometimes it’s not even a job change or a relocation. (Those make at least some sense.)
I’m talking about that slow drifting apart. Or loss of interest and enthusiasm. Sometimes, there’s a callous word exchanged, or a small wrong committed, that splinters that steel I-beam you considered unbreakable. That steel I-beam that in truth was nothing more than some fragile eggshell.
I’m not really sure of all the reasons these things happen, but I’m increasingly aware of how friends grow apart in life. And it seems no matter how hard I try to reach out, to repair, to rekindle, it’s of little use. That magical time together has passed.
Now the Marine in me says, “That’s life. Deal with it. Move on. They helped you through some tough times, you helped them, as well. We’re meant to help each other for the time our paths run parallel, but life goes on, people move on. Just let it go, man up, and keep moving.”
And I suppose all of this is true.
But on nasty, muddy, gray days such as this, I wonder if they miss me the way I still miss them? I wonder if if they want to resist life’s direction as strongly as I do, and try to salvage what can be salvaged?
My friends will tell you I’m a sap. I bend, I forgive, I tolerate far more than I should.
And it’s true. Goodness knows if you’ve read this post, there’s no shaking the label of sap. (Action fiction writer my ass…)
But on dreary days like today, I miss my old friends. And on wet and cold days such as this, I commit to being a better person to my current friends. With those acquaintances I’m growing closer to. (And the sap curse grows deeper…)
Unfortunately, it seems clear that friends come and go. We’ll still — usually — rush to each other’s rescue when in need (that foundation will always be there), but things will probably never be the way they once were.
Something happened. Or nothing happened.
And in the winter that eats at everyone’s soul, when life and beauty seems months away, you know they’re gone. You can see through the woods and they’re not there, standing with you in the wet and mud.
On days like today, I miss my old friends. And I yearn for Spring.
Keep the faith,
Stan R. Mitchell
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
About me: I’m a full-time, action-fiction author with books similar to Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy. I’m also a prior infantry Marine with Combat Action Ribbon, and a guy who spent 10+ years writing every day in the newspaper business. Please consider subscribing for email alerts — I mostly post about things that either motivate you, inspire you, or make you laugh.