Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back in Time

Wouldn't it be great to go back and revisit some of the happiest times of your life (assuming that you've had good times)?

In 1996, we moved from the stadium area of San Diego to Sabre Springs, a north San Diego suburb near Poway. I started homeschooling that year. A friend of mine, who has never homeschooled, introduced me to a group in the Poway area. This started some of the best times in my life.

The women in this particular homeschooling group accepted me immediately, even though I didn't have a clue about anything: education, religion, politics, style, etc. They never preached to me, but just taught me by the examples that they lived on a daily basis. I was never judged, and no one ever gossiped about me when I wasn't around (I know this because I never heard a word of gossip from any of those women). Sometimes we would combine our activities with a group in Escondido. These women were of the same caliber as the ones in my area.

All of my children's friends were in this group, and no one ever felt excluded. Watching teenagers playing soccer with eight year olds--or even three-year-olds--was always entertaining. Everyone managed to have fun. Utopia it was not, but it was about as close as you can get. Happy, carefree, supportive, and united.

For the past several years, many of us have moved away. Most left for other states. It's sad, but that's how life is. You expect that what tied you together before will always be there. I'm blessed to be able to communicate and visit with our friends down south, who I still keep in close touch with today. It's not the same, but, as children grow and we age, we are all bound to change.

One of these dear friends, who relocated to another state, was in San Diego a couple of weeks ago. Unbeknownst to me, she wanted to re-create our group for one afternoon. She invited nine of her friends in that area, who met every week at a park in Poway.

After a very crazy morning, I packed up six of my kids and made the hour drive to this get together. When I arrived, it was as though nothing had changed. Yes, the kids were significantly older, and many weren't there because they were starting lives of their own. However, our circle of conversations, the children playing soccer in the field, and the dads who came by to say hello to old friends, was nostalgic to me. I felt as though I had taken a time machine back to 1998. The sense of peace and happiness at being able to recapture a few hours of bygone years was overwhelming.

Thanks to a friend, who has embraced the present, yet had a vision of the past, we all felt a bit more content that day. This makes me wonder how many opportunities I have missed in connecting with those who were once special to me, but have quietly vanished over the years. In some cases, I don't think that the Christmas card is enough. Maybe I should pick up the phone or find those e-mail addresses for a quick hello that may evolve into a rekindling of old friendships.

Maybe you should do the same.