There was a chill in the air. It was not cold but comforting in that comfy sweatshirt, glowing campfire sort of way. A few friends would be venturing through the evening's chill to shake hands and exchange witty banter. It had been forever since we all had been in the same room together. Some of those lonely beers from eons ago had been squirreled away for just this moment. As the cars began to fill the driveway, we retired to the dim light and quiet of the barn, the gruff language of truck drivers and train conductors is better suited for trees than children. We would eventually wander the woods to sleep in the hidden cabin that housed more of those lonely beers. It had been awhile since I had drank so deep or laughed so heartily.
The stars twinkled through the treetops and the sky was alive with a meteor shower that had been so highly touted, and it did not disappoint. Yet some of us did not want to fully embrace the darkness or the natural fireworks or even the prized bottles of cellared liquid. The memories swirled and the laughter flowed but they all seemed to be held at arms length, friends for decades, close yet with a distance now, somehow guarded. Perhaps our differing paths have led us further away from each other or maybe our age or experiences have placed a new filter on our life-lenses. The weekend, as they all do, flew by and the cars crept back out of the driveway.
Our time together was quite like those lonely, hidden beers. Some moments were sweet and mellow and warmed the heart and belly. Others did not age as well, harsh, bitter, flat. Some of us stopped for a moment, took a breath and enjoyed the streaks across the sky while others blinked and missed it. Was it trying to recapture those youthful moments or chase away the mundane present that brought that undercurrent, no one will ever know nor will it ever be brought to light.
In the end the meteors put their stamp on the weekend, fleeting and hot, bright against the dark sky and quickly gone again. The lonely beers are gone and their hiding spots now beg for new occupants. Next year the meteors will be back and we will hopefully have another chance to catch up with old friends.