By nature we are reactionary from our earliest moments forward. We respond intuitively to what we see, smell, taste, and hear – an integral response to who we really are, and, as years pass, to the sweet memory of who we once were.
When I smell Ragusa rose, for example, or the salty tang of sea air, or feel the broil of hot pavement underfoot, I am transported to every beach I ever loved, every dune I ever climbed, and to every long, sunny day I ever spent there.
Such moments are tender pockets of memory as time marches on, where I can visit places I haven’t been in decades, with people I no longer see. This way, I have found, they are always a part of me. And the girl I once was never dies.
Sometimes, though, such sweet/awful angst is almost too much to bear. It’s hard to ease the ache that comes with the fading of youth, the loss of friendship, just … loss, that‘s triggered by sight, scent, and music. By touch. A sound. A whiff of perfume, or a special song. A memory of how it was, a wish it could have lasted, or even that things had been different.
We all have precious memories of perfect moments when times were focused only on the immediate road ahead. My most poignant moments had equal parts happiness and pain and I packed them purposefully as far away as I could. Then, recently, I reconnected with someone I thought I had lost and I was happy to learn that some soul connections can survive even the worst of times.
Shortly before we said goodbye, my friend handed me a CD with the soundtrack of our lives. As I listened later I was overcome with sadness for times that were, and could have been. The plus was old wounds had started to heal. But how do you let go of what has so fleetingly just been found?
What made it better was knowing that somewhere deep in the women we have become are those same young girls surrounded by aromatic beach roses, scratchy radios playing our favorite songs, and, in the music of the gales of laughter as we reminisced, the rediscovered truth that true friendships can last forever.