This past weekend I returned to Ohio to take part in my 20 year high school reunion. My friend Steve and his family graciously allowed me to stay with them while I visited. Steve’s someone who I can talk with as though no time has passed at all. I explain the existence of his five children as the work of a temporal rift, very common in northeastern Ohio. I experienced this temporal dissonance with the rest of my classmates as well. They all felt familiar and it was easy to get along with everyone there. Yet the presence of spouses and children and the accounts of intervening years reminded me that time indeed had passed for all of us. Apparently I have mannerisms that have not changed since high school and my classmates took delight in pointing them out.
I was struck by the compassion shown by my former classmates as though the passage of years had mellowed their disposition, rendering them affable to all, regardless of what social cliques we may have belonged to in the past. Also on display was the joyful weariness and wisdom that accompanied the rearing of children.
It was over too soon. I was surprised by how much I wanted to spend more time with everyone. I was able to have a few deep, probing conversations with a few people. We shut down the bar, in fact, and we still weren’t done talking. Apparently an evening and an afternoon are not adequate to fill in 15-20 year gaps.
I am thankful for the experience. If you get a chance at such a reunion, I encourage you to put aside your trepidation and take the plunge.