Tuesday, July 19, 2011

class reunion ruminations

I’ve recently participated in organizing my 40th high school reunion. Interestingly, this activity has conjured up many memories of that past life, reviving all of the insecurities, conflicts, crushes and friendships that had overwhelmed me at that time.

I’m sure, as is common, I view myself internally as being much younger than I appear externally. Inside, in large part thrives a young man just stepping into maturity, outside, captured in the harsh reality of a mirror, is the aging man (albeit with a rather bewildered look on his face,) who has weathered many experiences and lessons that sometimes seem too easily forgotten. It is much easier to look outward at my former classmates of the reunion committee than inward to gauge how much progress or wisdom has been accumulated over the years.

I can still envision them all as they appeared in high school. Some have changed more than others. And I remember my encounters with them back then, impressions readily recounted, emotions re-lived - but gone are any harsh judgments or categorizations. Although they are not as attractive (i.e. "youthful") as they were in high school (and I include myself here without hesitation), there is a patina of beauty that surrounds them, borne from their years of struggling, loving, raising children and experiencing all of the triumphs and disappointments that life has to offer. They have all achieved a manner of dignity and grace that makes me want to embrace them and declare, “Look how far we’ve come!” from that same starting point of our humble high school.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

It seems to me that time goes faster and faster as we get older. When you're a child, an hour is an eternity! When you get older, days and weeks seem to whiz by (especially if you're on vacation)! I looked out at my husband and kids in church and thought - when did I become a 31 year old mother of 3, married for 10 years??? I still feel 18.