Updated: 5 hours ago
This summer I realized the month of July would be a bit more hectic than normal; I’d be settling back into Martha’s Vineyard while starting up a more-than-usual variety of jobs, trying to keep up some kind of practice schedule for whatever instruments I try to play, and I even hinted at an attempt to produce more fiction for the first time since all this website nonsense began. Oh, and there was to be a six-day stretch of time spent in my hometown of Burlington, Vermont. Provided, of course, that my much-maligned used car could get me there in one piece. (It did!)
The recent B.H.S reunion I was fortunate enough to attend last week was a wonderful reminder of the importance of taking time to reflect on parts of the past, if only for a short while. For a few days, it didn’t matter what was on my hectic schedule. I could share stories with old classmates about anything, really. And while what amounted to a 10% attendance rate is nothing to brag to the heavens about, in a way this small turnout worked to our advantage, as we all had a chance to share a few words with everyone present - even with the fellow classmates we never knew. And only a week after our home state of Vermont had been flooded by nonstop rain, the weather paused for a brief moment to allow our get-together to excel. Everyone present seemed vibrantly happy about that!
Now of course there was a bittersweet aspect to all of this as well. Some former classmates have been dealing with personal and physical issues since our last get-together, and of course everyone was now five years older. We all had our share of accumulated war stories to reveal, should conversations turn in that direction. Memory itself could be a problem, at least for me. I sometimes wouldn’t know who I was talking to unless a name was offered - and even after instantly being able to recognize the corresponding childhood classmate in my brain, I’d have a bit of trouble remembering exact details of what our friendship had been all about. But by and large, every unexpected obstacle was easily overcome.
And in case anyone is interested, I resisted any urge I might have had to hand out my little michaelaba.com business cards. I did, however, join anyone who asked for quite a few pictures.
Well, obviously, nothing lasts forever. But while some may point to having entered the advent of our sunset years, there is a benign beauty to this idea as well. In fact, we were all presented with what could be a cosmic metaphor for this notion, just an hour or so later from that same porch:
Mark me down as a three-thumbs-up kind of guy for high school and family get-togethers and reunions in general. These opportunities don’t happen often enough, and tomorrow, as they say, is guaranteed to one. At the same time, we obviously shouldn’t fear or close our eyes to what the future will bring.
These coming days and years, after all, promises to provide us with a few dazzling and memorable moments as well!