Auld Lang Syne

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.

4 thoughts on “Auld Lang Syne

  • That seems the measure of all things, including our own lives; ” …the degree that they provided a fertile womb for the spirit of blessing in the earth.” Sounds like a fun trip!

  • Patterns of relationship and friendship that have developed over time and have withstood the common forces of disintegration and violation are not to be cast aside lightly. Often it seems easier to embrace newer relationships that may not seem to carry the baggage or regrets from the past, but the fact is that newer friendships simply cannot convey the essences that a more mature relationship can.

    It takes time, patience, humility, care, forgiveness and a depth of love to develop, nurture and maintain these vital vessels – what should really be considered Temple vessels – for without these, the world is deprived of great value and great potential remains unfulfilled..

  • Your post is very touching and brings to mind an appreciation for old friends as well as present friends and developing new friendships that have and do provide a blessing. A sense of gratefulness does fill my heart in light of this along with an urge to take action that would naturally increase the blessings that can extend through them. The action your parents took to visit and to enjoy time with their friends is a great example. I very much appreciate the life spirit of your posts. Thank you!

  • This post really touches my heart and brings up such a feeling of love for my old friends in particular. David’s comment that they should be considered temple vessels provides a new way of viewing our friends particularly those with whom we have a spiritual connection. When something of depth is shared, you don’t forget it even if you aren’t able to be with the person for a period of time. The truth of the friendship doesn’t disappear even if there is some baggage attached.

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