Saturday, January 16, 2010
Remembering your Old and New Friends...
Remember when you were a young child, and your teacher would tell you to use your imagination, or put on your "Thinking Caps"? You would close your eyes and think your hardest to try and free your young mind, and transport you to some other reality like the world where Dinosaurs ruled the land, or to some fantasy land made out of chocolate and candy. It seemed like your only limitation was your own boundaries.
That was a lifetime time ago, and it went by in a blink. Don't those years that took so long to pass, seem so short looking back? I think somewhere along the way, I traded my imagination in for maturity. I never really realized I was doing it, I think I just followed the path that all of my friends seemed to be on, and I grew up.
Oh, I have moments like you do. Usually they are on Trans-Atlantic flights where I need to kill 8 hours and so I write, or remember my youth. I recall friends of old, and the crazy things we used to do together. I know that I will never see most of these people ever again, and our times are now just a figment of my memory locked into that vault that only becomes accessible when I feel the need to remember my roots. And then they all come crashing out of the gates like they have been locked and wasting away, realizing that they haven't been able to come out to play in oh so long, and this is their opportunity to seize.
And what a wonderful time we all have! I haven't seen these people in 30, 25, and 20 years. They are all at the exact same age that I left them at, even though I am no longer that young boy. They stare into my eyes as if to look for the young Chuckie that they once knew, and it takes them a few seconds to recognize before they finally see "me." The body and face age, but the eyes never change.
Nobody comes with their outside problems, or aches and pains that we all have now. We all just sit and talk, and use our imagination to find something to fill our time together like we used to do when we were young. The time flies away, like something that is endless. For these precious moments, time sits still and allows us to be kids again. Everything seems to be put on hold for this time, and we are limitless with energy. The stories, the gossip, the playground rules, all of these play out just like we never left. -For we are all still kids here, with no outside corruption from the grown-up world.
But then, just when it seems like the street lights are about to come on, one by one, each of my friends slowly leave until I am the sole remainder. I wave my last goodbye and sigh deeply. I am thankful for this moment, for it is what makes me love ALL my friends. Old and new, we all shared time and each one touched my soul as the person I am today. And I love that...
With my childhood playground now empty, I hear the song that tells me that it is time for me to return to my adult world which is calling me to return to. It is the Simon and Garfunkel song called Bookends. And it always leads me back to this spot so I may always visit my friends and the relationships I've treasured so much.
“Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you”
So thank you for meeting me there as you always do...