Saturday, March 17, 2012

March Madness (of a different, non-basketball kind)


Early March 1990:
That week, there were a cascade of gloriously perfect spring days with temperatures soaring into the 70s and flirting with the 80s. Those were days that hinted of the promise of the ones yet to come, that reminded us of what we still had. They were our gift for the taking ... and we did.

A friend's family lived at the beach. Two other friends had cars, a luxury during those days. We turned in papers early or not at all, switched work schedules. Two of us whispered our secret plan to our boss, a mentor and now, still two decades later, our friend.

She knew why we had to do this, that this madcap of a March day was our one chance to be together once more before life's tides cast us in different directions. Go. Be together. Enjoy each other. Because someday soon, you'll have jobs and families and lives and you won't be able to do crazy things like this. And you'll always remember and have this. 

And so we piled into the two cars and headed east, our itinerary precisely timed for when the friend's parents would be at work, none the wiser for us having dropped by when we (including their son) should have been 81 miles away. We rolled the windows down. We drove into the day, back into the cool night.

There was something about it that made me feel that we would be together always, that we could do anything, that anything was possible.

Early March 2012:
This week, there were a string of gloriously perfect spring days, with temperatures soaring into the 70s and flirting with the 80s. These are the types of days that remind us of the eternal hope and spring that we carry within us, the reminder that spring always returns. This day was a gift for the taking, I thought, as I pressed the button in my car that would automatically roll the window down.

Driving east, I wished I was headed to the beach instead of the work dinner I was obligated for ... and suddenly I was eastbound in another car, on another highway, in another decade. That March day of long ago came right back, as I admit it sometimes does on unseasonably warm days in March when the temperatures soar into the 70s and 80s. I wondered if the others - disconnected, mostly out of touch, some of their whereabouts now unknown - ever think of that day, too.
Go. Be together. Enjoy each other. Because someday soon, you'll have jobs and families and lives and you won't be able to do crazy things like this. And you'll always remember and have this. 
This had been a long week, a stressful week, a tough week. A reminder of a time when the improbable was possible was just what I needed as I drove home from the work dinner, an evening of networking and "I'll call you's" and prospects and potential asks. The breeze blew as I rolled the window down on this warmest of spring nights, the heat lightning crackling in the valley, a storm just ahead.

Impossible, yes, but for a moment, I thought I felt the ocean from 368 miles away.




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