So, this song from way back my college days played in the radio as I was bringing my granddaughter back to our home in Laguna.
It was about the singer (Dan Fogelberg) who bumped across his former lover around Christmas Eve in a grocery store, and in the short span of time they were together, reminisced and caught up with each other, winding up drinking a six pack in the woman’s car, because there wasn’t an open bar.
The ending of the song was that they both hinted at a “what if”, with an old familiar pain coming back to haunt him. Same Old Lang Syne gave me so much emotions in college, and when I heard it again thirty years after, those feelings came back like a wave of sweet pain, I didn’t realize I was crying…
What painful agony and sweetness it must be to have a love that you couldn’t have, come back to haunt you. When all of those feelings you thought were dead and buried, wake up from its slumber and caress your memory and heart once again. To once again see the face that made you laugh, and cry after so many years… and remember the familiar feeling of magic fluttering back, seeing those eyes, and wishing to see some glimpse of yourself in them.
The heart is sneaky. It makes you believe the illusion that deep love, no matter how long ago it was, is gone. It isn’t… It lies buried, in a hiatus; so much so, that even a whiff of a familiar scent, a familiar scene, a familiar smile, transports you back to a place and time where you vividly remember that conversation by that cafe window on a summer’s day, with the sunbeams reflecting on her hair …
Or that rainy day where you kissed in the middle of a park, remembering how soft those lips felt, time just stopped. Or those soft whispers of love in the middle of the night, blanketing your skin over hers, promising to yourself and to her that you would never let this moment go.
Sadly, life has a way of playing tricks on you. Those talks by the cafe, the kisses on those rainy days, and the midnight promises; they got replaced by a singing career for him, and a marriage to an architect for her. And the memories you thought were dead and buried, came back with so much color and clarity, you were transported back in time.
In that brief moment, just enough to get a glimpse of the young love that never was, the singer was hoping to bring it to present. But no matter how he tried to grasp at that beautiful moment, it was gone, forever etched in the past.
I’m waxing sentimental this Christmas season, as we near the end of another year, and the beginning of a new one. I wish to all of TRP: may the love you have be the one you’ve been wishing for, and may the one you love stay with you forever.
“Just for a moment, I was back in school and felt that old familiar pain;
and as I turned to make my way back home, the snow turned into rain.”