Last night when we were young
Love was a star, a song unsung
Life was so new, so real, so bright, ages ago, last night
Today, the world is old
You flew away, and time grew cold
Where is that star that seems so bright
Ages ago, last night ...
"Last Night When We Were Young" written by Harold Arlen, performed by Carly Simon, Frank Sinatra, and probably countless others
It is so easy to forget, as we go about our daily lives. It happens silently, the months slipping into years, the years into decades. A reunion passes, a classmate dies from leukemia at age 30, a war waged when last you spoke has segued into another, a milestone birthday is reached in the fall followed by one in the spring. Lives change directions unknowingly with only the briefest of passing thoughts, the I-wonder-whatever-happened-to ....?
We don't recognize this until it happens, until time presents itself front and center in the form of a casual mention from a conduit. Thought you'd like to know ... she wrote; and then, my Friend Request Pending, the response within a half hour, a squall of emails amidst professional lives within a 10 minute drive of one another that actually resemble those majored in back in the day. And then the picking up from where we left off in the early 90s, before the Internet, before email, when what are you doing now? was handwritten in a lengthy letter or communicated via a landline phone. And then dinner plans next Wednesday, a Palm entry that even the most foolish gambler would not have ever wagered on when this week began.
The Dean mentioned the other day about how funny this phenomenon is of reconnecting with people who knew ye back in the day, before we became jaded, back when we knew it all. How strange and surreal, but somewhat comforting at the same time, to ease into that banter unique to your circle of friends, of remembering the shared history of eccentric bosses and jokes of old. Of discovering a part of you that you didn't realize had gone missing, but was buried under the cobwebs of our lives and the successes and failures that define them. Of remembering the importance of what has long been forgotten, and the hope of reconnection. Of holding on to the past because in the end, that is all we can do, that is all we know in this uncertain future, that is all that matters.