"For I have learned to look on Nature not as in the hour of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes the still, sad music of humanity."
~ William Wordsworth ~
I went to my 30th high school reunion over the weekend and am glad that I did. There are those people with whom I have a kind of lifetime connection that doesn't depend on constant, or even regular, contact, and yet the understanding between us is familiar and feels good. And it's always great to see those people.
And then, there is the lack of connection that lingers across years that I feel with certain others, and that they, presumably, feel in relation to me: an awkwardness that is likely based on complete misunderstanding, and that might be overcome if we met today and had no history. And seeing them is a not-always-welcome reminder of something missed-out-on, and seemingly impossible to overcome.
But most enjoyable are the unexpected connections that develop. Conversations, evolved energy, and the relatable accumulation of lifetime experiences creates a bond that did not exist before, and which is surprisingly delightful.
At such events, there is generally too much alcohol consumed by most, the emotional exhaustion of dealing with constantly bubbling-up old-time feelings and memories of all kinds, and slightly stressful meals because of all the surrounding emotional chaos. In this regard, this reunion was no different from the rest. But nonetheless, it was worth it to go. High school was an important and formative time in my life, and I take this time every five years to honor those years and the people I shared them with.
I am grateful for my high-school experience, with all of it's awkwardness and the vagaries of my youth.