Tuesday, June 18, 2013
There was an impromptu mini-reunion of North Shore High School graduates recently. We're an anchorless group of people inasmuch as our high school was torn down to make way for the new Bak Middle School of the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach. Several of us also attended North Palm Beach Elementary--also recently demolished.
We met at a restaurant along the water in North Palm Beach. Memories flew around the table and laughter was fierce as teenage mis-deeds were recounted. Who knew shooting a flaming arrow at a balloon of gas could cause a problem? And the imaginative uses of Ex-lax? And what happens to a boat when no one's steering? I had no idea...
While it was a small group of ten plus two wonderfully patient spouses who were able to make it due to the short notice and spontaneity of the event, I'm so glad I went.
There's something so inherently right about touching base with friends who knew you when--those people who knew you when you were still trying to figure out who you were and what you were going to do with your life. One of the men present was a playmate of mine from high chair days--our mothers were friends. Another, I started kindergarten with and he was among those marching to Pomp and Circumstance with me in 1977.
In this season of graduations, it seems fitting that some of us who once graced the halls of North Shore met again, shared pictures of spouses and children, and spoke of accomplishments and memories. And laughed until we cried.
Like children on a playground who run back to Mom sitting on the park bench for a quick hug of reassurance before tackling the mighty Jungle Gym, from time to time over the years I think most people seem to need to run back to those who knew us best and longest for our own dose of reassurance. The confirmation of our worth as human beings that only old, dear friends can give pushes us to set sail again to tackle the lives we've created.
For the graduates of 2013, I hope that when you sit down to a table of your fellow graduates sometime in the far-off future, the laughter is fierce, memories fly fast and furious, and the hugs of your friends as you say good-night sends you back out into the world with the same intensity and passion that you experience this year as you graduate with your youth, your passion for life and your courage to conquer the world.