Two men smile in a pub in Svalbard.
Saturday night at the pub. Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Note the mining theme for a mining town. One of those nights you might look back on later and realize it marked the beginning of a new friendship. Those first moments with a new buddy are easily forgotten until weeks later when the initial nervous exchanges are over and the connection has strengthened. That’s when the early memories come back and remind us of where we started. In places like this. Out together after a concert, drinking beer and eating pizza.
Some of you have asked me if I’m in the Arctic all year. The answer is no. I’m Canadian, and I live in Ottawa. I’m a visitor in the north, in many different communities, but I’m not a northerner. The city where I was born and raised, and where I live now, is almost exactly half way between the equator and the north pole. Because I travel so much, the regular at home stuff becomes extra special. I went to a pub myself this week with a dear friend. We’ve known each other for 20 years, but we tried to act like we’d just met, I have no idea why. Then we talked about everything, then we laughed, and then we cried. We actually cried, I have no idea why.
Moments of connectedness between people happen everywhere. Not in the same way or in the same language, but learning to find new friends up north has reminded me to cherish my old friends down south. Have a good weekend.