"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Semper Paratus Revisited

A few days ago, I spoke of reconnecting with one of my old Coast Guard buddies and as a result of this contact; I’ve enjoyed reliving a lot of great memories. Since then, no fewer than 20 of us, from all over the country and as far away as Indonesia, have been in almost daily email communication and are in the process of putting together a ships reunion.

We were all stationed aboard the USCGC Midgett in the mid to late 70’s. Some tours overlapped others often leaving one or more shipmates to serve as common denominators between those who were there at different times. But even though we didn’t all personally know one another then, we “know” one another now through our shared experiences and common friends.

I think there is a certain significance to our reconnecting at this point in time. A lot happens in a person’s life over the course of 30 years; marriage, divorce, children, grand children, careers, failures and successes, losses and gains. And with these changes and events, comes a perspective which we could not have possibly known all those many years ago.

So what is it that is fueling this fire of desire to link up? Is it merely nostalgia or some misguided attempt at regaining our youth? Maybe, but I believe its much more than that. We’re all around 50 years old now and while the current mantra of “50 is the new 30” certainly rings true, the fact remains we’re staring smack dab into the face of our own mortality. And with this realization comes a deeper sense of appreciation for our friendships, the bonds we have forged, those special times in our lives and the importance of our memories.

Our time together was but a fleeting moment in the big picture but it was a significantly important moment none-the-less. This is what occupied my mind as I ran this morning.

“A smile happens in a flash, but its memory can last a lifetime.” - Anonymous

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