Early morning with a cup of coffee. The reunion is past, the house silent, and I have been keeping company with my reflections about the reunion since 5am.
There is something particularly special about being in the company of people you have known since you were young. It’s not the same with family. Family have known you as a ‘role’ in relation to other family members. Family defines you. Old friends who have known you as an individual reflect you.
Standing in the present - in aging bodies that have all known the challenges, the grief and the suffering that is part of life and who are humbled by it, we are reminded of a more innocent past – of the boundless future and the hungry excitement we felt for life then. We see a thread, woven so deeply into the fabric of our lives that it is otherwise invisible. But it is there. Beyond the accomplishments, the disappointments, the disillusionment or gratitude that we now feel for life, is an individual thread that is constant and uniquely ‘me’.
We have all changed. Life has left an imprint on each of us. Widowhood, divorce, loss of a child, an accident, abandonment… have all left their mark. As have children and spouses and friends and travels. But I saw in everyone of us the person I knew 42 years ago who was as yet untouched by any of that. I saw the thread holding it all together. And I saw how that single thread determines how everything else is woven into the tapestry that is our lives.
Life simply supplies the raw materials that we the weavers shape around something individual that is ours alone.