I found myself humming the tune of the traditional folk song used to put the lovely Scots poem “Auld Lang Syne” to music yesterday and it got me thinking about the nature of life and living. “Auld Lang Syne” translates roughly to “long, long ago” and the poem is generally recognized as a call to remembrance of old friendships. The song is traditionally sung in many countries to mark the start of the New Year or at funerals, graduations and other farewells.
My parents recently returned from a cross-country trek in their RV and when I asked them what they were most impressed with during their months on the road they both agreed that it was the warm and generous welcome that each of the old friends they visited bestowed upon them. They expected to be received kindly, but apparently each new set of old friends they visited went out of their way to make their brief time together especially comfortable, interesting and memorable.
It was nice to hear that my parents received so much of what they so regularly and selflessly give to other during their time on the road. It was also refreshing to hear that the spirit of hospitality is alive and well in the world at large, or at least within the sphere of influence projected over the course of my parents’ lives.
The thought that came to me while humming “Auld Lang Syne” was that old friendships are worth commemorating to the degree that they provided a fertile womb for the spirit of blessing in the earth. Those which did not are probably best forgotten and left behind.