A longtime friend was feeling nostalgic one night, not too long ago, and emailed me with memories of a time he felt alone and we stepped up and were there for him.
We were so young, all those years ago, but it’s nice to remember that even that young, our hearts were in the right places. Old friends–there’s nothing like them.
His note started me thinking about our days as young marrieds. We had nothing, really, and lived in a pretty ratty apartment that passed for married students’ housing back in 1972. The Thanksgiving our friend referred to was our first as a married couple–we were just a few months past our wedding and two months into M’s first year of law school. We’d left our families 1,300 miles behind to forge this new life together. I can still see us in our mind’s eye, so adorable and stupid, yet so smart, too.
Oh, so young. We had no idea how life would unfold for us–together, apart, together–and absolutely no inkling that we’d end up in our 60s, together, in the San Francisco Bay area.
So many of our friends from those days have moved on, as we did, and we’ve lost touch.
But that sweet note and conversation made me not only nostalgic, but long for those days of total innocence. Those days when the prospect of the life ahead was fresh and new, the road was not yet paved and we could make what we liked of it.
That’s what I miss about youth most. It’s not that aging brings wrinkles and memory problems. It’s that the road ahead is shorter and fairly predictable. Adventures are a little harder to come by.
I’ve always loved an open road, not knowing what was ahead, ready to explore. And explore I did.
So I loved hearing from our old friend that night, even if his impetus to write was a bottle of Scotch. The feelings were there for us all and it was beautiful to revisit them and bask in the memories of that long ago time.
Old friends. Such a treasure.