Monday, October 12, 2009
The Real Big Chill
A few days ago I returned from a small, informal weekend reunion with some of my high school friends from the Beaverton Beavers class of 1972. I love saying that name-- a fabulous and authentic retro high school name.
Spending a few days together for the first time in years, we realized this weekend something all of us desperately needed. Finding ourselves middle-aged and buffeted by the storms of lifes recession, the onslaught of aging, and the loss of our youthful enthusiasm, we clung to each other as we remembered who we once were. I know, I know; it's a bleak picture. But here comes the good part:
The biggest surprise of all revealed itself to us within the first few hours of being together. Even after all these years, we were able to see that glimmer of brilliance we had in our youth; it was still living inside each one of us. We realized that this gathering gave us a great gift: it reaffirmed who we were.
As in the classic The Big Chill, the weekend was not without drama, the rekindling of buried feelings, and healing from the hurts of life. Together we rediscovered the simple happiness and delight in friendships that date back to childhood days.
I believe reaching out to the people who truly know us is one of the most powerful ways to find the strength we need to overcome the challenges of life. It feels so good to be loved and understood. It is a relief to know you're safe.
Make an effort to get together with a group of old friends; you'll be amazed by the miraculous ability of these gatherings to renew your sense of purpose and hope.