“Oh, look! They’re playing Arabic music!” I pointed to the field stage in surprise and wonder. The music had only just cut through the conversation to reach my ears and awareness, so deeply entrenched in the beloved company I kept.
“Nah, really??” one answered sarcastically.
Taken aback at the tone, I am filled with dismay. I recall my brother’s wisdom and say; “‘Sarcasm is the product of an unoriginal mind.’ That’s what my brother used to say…”
I pondered on whether these words chastised but felt defensive at the seemingly unwarranted change.
I reflected inwardly and quietly, all the while the hum and drone of music surrounded me. The friends left to find some cider and reappeared with one for me. I drank it quickly and bought another. It was one way to lighten the mood. The night turned cold and frivolous, like the sparkling cider in my hand, making me giddy and nonchalant.
That moment changed everything so slightly, like a clock suddenly no longer able to keep time. I gained insight into the naivety of years of mere acquaintance. I was ready, on the brink, to pull in close to share the rest of the story, the private details of my associations with the Arabic people – how I was one of them, they were my people, yet time revealed they were not. On reflection, this was a mirror of the past – will I see it clearly now, then walk away and forget?
The budding friendship denied warmth, light and feeding turns grey and dried up like Autumnal blooms displayed in a dark room.
Who can tell why I trust and devote myself to this man, who spoke Aramaic, whose image and touch are unknown to me – yet occupies all my waking thoughts. He is an endless ocean with unfathomable depths, yet he is my Brother in life and death.
Proverbs 18:24 – One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Image Credit: Anastasia Benko: Moody Autumnal dried flower arrangement with chrysanthemums and dried leaves.