In some ways, my visit to the island of Lopud, a 50 minute ferry ride from the Dubrovnik port, was a bit of a pilgrimage.
I was last there nine years ago with my friends Sue and Jim. We walked a lot, drank a lot of cheap red wine, ate seafood and laughed. I was younger and Jim was healthy.
Today when I visited the island it seemed not to have changed much. But I was aware that I was nine years older and ten pounds heavier and Jim …well, Jim is gone.
I spent six hours walking around the island, on familiar paths up hills, to the beach and past the ruins of centuries-old churches. I took lots of photos but probably didn’t need to since not much has changed and I suspect I have all the same photos from previous trips to the island.
All along the pathways were wildflowers of different colours but the most prominent ones were wild roses. As I walked, I kept thinking “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.”
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.
I wondered as I left on the ferry if I will ever come back to Lopud. I have visited the island several times, always with friends. Good times past. The island is the same but time has rushed on and those good times are now fond memories.
I also know that there is still time to create some new ones – but on some other island.
Note to self, and to everyone else as well – Get out the shears and keep gathering those memories.