Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bread Platters, Wine Glasses and Friendship

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"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." - Albert Schweitzer
Last weekend, I had a beautiful lunch with good friends at Swan Valley- an establishment filled with vineyards, farms, wineries, restaurants and gorgeous, open landscapes. The drive up there is enough to satisfy your eyes. Although I revel in a fast lifestyle, it's nice to sit quietly from time to time and ponder. You know, so as to not burn out too quickly on life's absurdities. There's something relaxing and comforting in being able to drive away from city life and have a taste of early retirement. So far, it taste like fresh edam and camembert cheese. There's also a dainty, upper class, "poshness" to it. What can I say, any chance for elegance and regality... It's a nice change from parking my ass in front of the TV and shoving chocolate in my mouth at regular intervals.

This is an annual event for a couple of close uni friends and I (and by annual, I mean to say that we did it once last year, roughly during the same time of the year). Last year, one of the boys dressed very inappropriately for the drive up there (he dressed in an oversized jumper, shorts and thongs - like he was going to his local pub!). So by a unanimous decision, we forced him to go back home and change into something a little more suitable for a day in the green. Also, it was slightly raining and chilly that day so we convinced him he would catch a cold if he didn't put something a little warmer on. After that minor hiccough, we went on to dine at a quaint winery with a lovely, calm atmosphere. I still remember that winery very vividly- wooden benches, purple and green vines hanging from the wooden planks off the ceiling and strategically placed wooden barrels around the restaurant. The light drizzle made an already beautiful landscape, perfect. We chatted, laughed and delicately stuffed our mouths with delicious bread, cheese, chorizo and wine. I don't think one of us remembered that we had exams the week after. This was, by far, my favourite day last year.

This year, we were sans boy-who-dresses-inappropriately-for-weather (he's since graduated and returned to his home country). Nonetheless, we made the drive up to Swan Valley, once again. We ate our sourdough bread, drank pear cider and Jane Brook Chardonnay and reminisced over strange uni moments as well as our dreams, goals and plans. We topped off the day with delicious hand made chocolates from the Margaret River Chocolate Company. To me, this trip was quite sombre. We were down one friend, and it was going to be our last trip to Swan Valley as a group before all of us graduate. Needless to say, it didn't have the same feel as the year before.

As much as I say I want to move out of my hometown next year, I'm sorely going to miss moments like these. But that's a given right? Of course we're going to miss those we leave behind or move away from. It is not so much the actual location itself that will be missed (although, in my case, I will miss open green fields and good food) but rather, the people we share it with. I've only known my uni colleagues for a year and a half but they have seen me joyous and depressed- just as I have seen them at their extremes. All of us are onto bigger and better things once next year comes around and I am fearful for the time when we would be pressed simply to even contact each other by phone.

I guess all I can do for now is to grasp onto the here and now. I'll try and enjoy the friendships as they stand in the present- just like it's best to enjoy wine and cheese at its freshest.

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