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A Tale Of Retrospection MAG
"It was the best of times . . . "
We were a family that, inretrospect, was only temporary. The girls that I went through high school withshared many of the rainbows in my youth. I remember my first awkward kiss with aboy (in ninth grade) and how I ran back all skittish and excited to my closestfriend. She had wanted to hear every detail.
I used to sneak out at nightand run through the neighborhood yards and splash in the pools with my bestfriends. In those lost days of high school, my girlfriends were the sisters,mothers and daughters I never had. They were with me in every gym class, everyargument, every win and loss and every heartbreak.
" . . . it wasthe worst of times . . ."
The rainbows became less and less frequentin the final year of high school when it snapped like a rubber band inside thatour family was dissolving. Those times were raw-boned and vulnerable. They werefilled with longing for the past, boredom with the present and fear of thefuture.
" . . . it was the age of wisdom . . .."
But,of course, we knew it all, and we were never outwardly skeptical. We gave oneanother the impression that each was our own prima donna. We were all Cleopatrasand Queen Elizabeths. So eager to leave (of course, school was holding us back)that many of us wasted precious time. We would look in the mirror when we shouldhave been turned toward each other.
" . . . it was the age offoolishness . . ."
High school was innocent fun. The echoes of allour screams of laughter and joviality, and also anger still ring in myears.
" . . . we had everything before us . .."
" . . . we had nothing before us . .."
Our future, like a deflated balloon, required our hot air (we hada lot of that) and effort to make any use of it. Those of us who have gonenowhere since high school have done so because we allowed our eyes to close. Andthose who have moved on have because we've given our share of breath andvigor.
We all agreed in our final year that our most difficult time wouldbe the final moment: the day of our graduation, when some of us would see eachother for the last time. Graduation was to be the day when they removed theshelter that had covered us so securely. Like birds, forced to leave the nest, wewould have to fend for ourselves, without each other for support. But, we neededalso to find our own pieces of sky. The day when we marched slowly with our capsand gowns down the aisle and out the door - that day was a mixedblessing.
So, we stood in the darkening evening on the lawn in front ofthe school. We cried our farewells with diplomas in hand. We were still childrenin that hour, but the following day would be different. It was only there, thatnight, that we could have said what Charles Dickens wrote, "The wind isrushing after us, and the clouds are flying after us, and the moon is plungingafter us, and the whole wild night is in pursuit of us; but, so far, we arepursued by nothing else."