Recognition

2006-02-03 15:30:00 +0000

It is incredible that a feature or an expression on a passer-byʼs face can unlock a flood of memory and feeling.

When I catch a glimpse, a shadow of someone I recognize, I slow down or stop. I look at their eyes, anticipating, hoping they will look my way. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred our eyes never meet. And when they do, ninety-nine times out of one hundred the image of a former friend has already fled from that strangerʼs face. Then there follows a feeling of disappointment, a feeling that I have been betrayed by a trick of the light, but the tender memories and reflections evoked often make that disappointment worth it.

But there arises an amazing feeling when I encounter one to whom I have not spoken for years, yet whose name I recall just as clearly as if I had called it out every day of my life.

Just as clearly as I called it out from the top of the steps of the Flawn Academic Center earlier today.

A beaming smile, a sweet embrace,
“I canʼt believe it, how are you? We have some catching up to do.”
This was no simple strangerʼs face.