Today is the day to think of auld acquaintances. I did some checking to make sure that I knew just exactly what "auld" was before I started. "Auld Lang Syne" is an extremely old Scottish song that was first written down in the 1700s. The folks at How stuff works (dot com) were kind enough to clue me in a little on those lyrics (attributed to Robert Burns - somebody bring me some haggis!). "Auld Lang Syne" translates roughly to "Old Long Ago" - we'll take a cup of kindness yet for old long ago.
That makes more sense than trying to imagine all the old acquaintances I can recall. The end of the year seems heavy with those, all the family gatherings and Christmas card list wrangling, it's difficult if not impossible to shake the notion that we should celebrate the end of every year by remembering everyone we've ever known. This week I found myself thinking of Troy, from my fourth grade class. Troy and I spent countless recesses at the second sand pit on the Columbine Elementary playground, playing with our Hot Wheels. We built amazing environments with plenty of parking space while other kids busied themselves with four-square, jump rope, and ridiculing the guys playing with their Hot Wheels. We didn't care. We couldn't wait to get back out to find what was left of the caves, bridges and tunnels at lunchtime.
Troy is gone now. By the time we were in junior high, we had drifted apart. The fact that there weren't recesses in junior high probably had something to do with it. I think he signed my yearbook in our sophomore year in high school, and then we were done. It wasn't out of any sort of spite or malice, on the contrary, we always had a nod and a smile for each other in the hallway. We had left each other behind in the Auld Lang Syne.
It's a question, after all: Should old acquaintances be forgotten, and never brought to mind? No, and I'll bring along one of my son's Hot Wheels to mark the occasion.