I have mused, countless times, on how lucky I am to know such fine people. It can be someone from childhood, high school, college, employment, mutual friends, and the world of the arts. When I go to that final adventure, I will go knowing that I have known love with my fellow beings, and that we made this mutual journey a meaningful one with our shared experiences, our sumptuous dinners by candle light, our walkabouts to capture the perfect photograph, our music making around a campfire and earnest hand written letters through the years.
I have been disappointed by friends as well, of course. Some calamities are fixable, while others are not worth the time and effort to recover. I say, "Adieu" and know that while the friendship lasted, it brought me great pleasure. Some I still agonize over in restless dreaming or 2:30 a.m. awakenings. Those come with less frequency, and I like to believe that one day the unsettled feelings will fade away completely.
One of the great wonders of being my age is that I am still discovering new friendships, and earnestly cultivating them. One of these is with our friend Ted Grant, a photojournalist with 60 years professional experience under his belt and many, many awards to show for it. This past week my husband and I travel to British Columbia to spend a few days with Ted, something we've been planning to do since Ted came to visit us in California a few years ago. Talk about your salt of the earth fellow who tells it like it is!
We told stories over glasses of scotch (his is very peaty and thoroughly disgusting) and chocolate covered cherries. We love to hash out what makes for a good photograph, and what stinks about some modern photography. We have our opinions.
My husband and Ted have known each other a long time. They knew each others' wives, they collaborated on photographic projects. They go way back and I am the newcomer. Be that as it may, Ted has never made me feel anything but welcomed, loved, and appreciated. We easily fall into interesting and intimate conversation and I treasure our talks.
This trip, we visited Butchart Gardens to view the fall color. Imagine, my second fall color trip in two weeks! This place is out of this world. Even in the pouring rain, which is what we experienced. We tried to wait it out over coffee and snacks, but it became apparent we were going to have to suck it up and get out there. Luckily, our hosts keep a ready supply of clear plastic umbrellas. Off we went, encountering sullen toddlers, over-tired 8 year-olds, and hordes of Chinese tourists with their cell phone cameras. Lots of selfies, don't you know? Selfies with all the grandeur around us? Really!
We flew home on a 6:00 a.m. flight, which required rising at 3:30 a.m. We told Ted to please please sleep through it all, but he insisted on sending us off. That is a true friend. It was a memorable visit with an honest and true human being. Our friend. One of many that I have had the pleasure of knowing in my lifetime. He gives me hope that life can be long and productive; one can encounter adventure and discoveries at any age. He accepts invites to speak for various groups and impart his experience and knowledge. He loves connecting with audiences and individuals. He has a lot to give to others, and has always mentored young folks. An exemplary existence.
So, yeah, his friendship warms my soul. Aren't I the lucky one?