There is a scene in the film Notting Hill where the characters have “surreal moments”. Yesterday was a bit surreal – it was totally out of the normal run of things. The day for the most part was normal – as normal as first day back at school can be normal. It was after school that things got surreal!
I was very tired and decided to lie down on the sofa and listen to a worship CD. I was drifting off rather nicely when the doorbell rang. A few thoughts went through my mind – had I left the lights on in the car and a neighbour was coming to tell me, was it a double glazing salesman, or someone trying to convince me to change my gas and electricity supplier.? I recognised the man immediately – it was the husband of a friend from Rugby – the friend that I had regularly wrote letters to one year when she was going through a tough time. It turned out that they had decided to take a driving holiday – a whistle stop tour of Scotland, popping in to surprise us along the way. (I could never be that casual and off the cuff!)
Words really fail to say just how delighted I was that they were visiting. It was like Christmas!
My friend and I go back a long way. She has always been an inspiration to me, but the last few years have been hard. Her relationship with God has not been a bed of roses. A great deal of what we had in common was our faith, and when she was going through difficult times, it wasn’t always easy. My enthusiasm - I guess at times I probably made her uncomfortable! When you just want to keep God at a safe distance you probably don’t want to be around someone burning with a passion!
Maybe it is because I am a writer I think that the solution to feeling down is to read something uplifting. The written word does it for me! “Read this and you will feel much better” is my philosophy. I thought that if she read some of the poems and short stories that I had written, it would re-ignite her passion, so I left her with two files of my work – volumes one and two! As it was she was stirred by some of the things she read! But she held onto volumes one and two for so long that I did think about replacing them – printing them off again and sticking them in a new file. Her visit yesterday reunited me with volumes one and two!
It was so wonderful to see her and her husband. I have been drunk only twice in my life. One of those times was round at their house one New Year sampling their collection of liqueurs. If you are going to get drunk, there is no safer place that among people you like and trust! I didn’t know these things had whisky in them – and I was sorely missing Joe!
It was surreal – sitting in a pub on the banks of Loch Ness with three of my most favourite people in the world. I felt specially blessed. It kind of out weighed all the not so good stuff of first day back at school!