One route for our daily walk takes us past Cumberland High School. Walking by the place I spent four years of my life sparked memories. It got me to think about those very different times.
As often happens, my mind’s synapses fired off sounds, images, memories, and thoughts.
I wondered about what I might consider the best year of my life. It became evident there could be no such thing. The many good years I’ve had have far outweighed any bad ones. The year of falling in love and marrying. The year of my daughter’s birth. Each of these, and others, were among the best.
I tried to broaden the perspective. To think of what I might consider the best year in the various stages of my life. One rose above the others.
The summer between my junior and senior year of high school rose to the top. 1973, 17 years old, on the cusp of adulthood without the full responsibilities. I had a car, a great job at Almacs, and great friends from school and work. A future of possibilities before me.
It was a great time of my life.
It was a summer spent walking the beach with friends, at Scarborough or Horseneck. Talking about our plans for the future, or for the next night.
Listening to the music of Steely Dan (Reeling in the Years) Seals and Crofts (Diamond Girl), and Chicago (Feeling Stronger Every Day.)
Waiting in the warm sun for the perfect wave to body surf to shore, hoping against hope the pretty college-age “older” women would notice, even if we knew they were out of our league.
Shared experiences between friends who continue to be part of my life.
1973 was part of that all too brief time when one lives life for the moment. Not much of a past to regret and too naïve of the future to worry.
One of the many concepts of Einstein I struggle with is his concept of time. He once said, “The distinction between the past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
I hope Einstein is right. I hope the past is still out there. The stubbornly persistent illusion lets me close my eyes, feel the warm sun on my skin, look for that perfect wave, and hear the sounds of time playing the music of my memories.