“That is the land of lost content, I see it shining plain, the happy highways where I went and cannot come again.”*

We have not met for quite a long time and then we get together again from time to time. At time like this, for a year plus now, each gathering of friends in person is rare and precious. We can no longer gather a big group like we used to do, but the few who manage to do so take the bother to come and bring their personal warmth and care to the rest. It is really a time to ponder and consider.

Why did we not value our previous freedom when we were so free to walk about, to drop in as and when the wind brings us and the smell of Spring time stirs us? Last year was a harsh Spring for us all as we were all caught unprepared by the news. We found that we have made promises that we could no longer keep. We thought it would be over soon and some of us had postponed our reunion to Summer, then Fall, and then were crushed by the harsh Winter.

For 365 days, daily I stand at the window for a while, and scan the sky, why? I listen to the whispering silence out there, and ask in quiet response, is this new dawn bringing me a time of joyous connection with a long lost one today? Each dusk I sit quietly giving a passing glance at the world outside the glass panel, undeterred by the futility and weariness of waiting. We are separated by an ocean or two. The ocean is too vast to cross. Yet we do not lose hope.

Not all of us are without bags of ages laden on our feet. Yes, the weariness of time. A year had left us, taking some friends with it. We still call those who remain, in a renewed hope with Spring around the corner of our garden, taking virtual coffee and cookies, a glass of wine or two, singing half-forgotten lyrics with whatever words and phrases we recall from old. Yes, we shall not give up. We are thankful we are still around and available for our old friends. Let us press on to be a season of hope makers for each other, my dear friends. Cheers!

Star and coronal and bell
April underfoot renews,
And the hope of man as well
Flowers among the morning dews. (A. E. Housman, ‘Spring Morning’)

*a quote of A. E. Housman

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