Sunday, July 22, 2007

Life is more like a river than a lake

Yes, there is a possibility that I have just been allowed to have it too good lately. Though I've been working hard enough to come home at the end of the day and tell myself "you've worked hard, you need a break" I also think I've been pretty lucky with the breaks so far.

If nothing else, I've at least been lucky to have spent them with really wonderful people. Although the places and the weather have all been beautiful, I can't help but think the people you spend your time with, if they're really awesome people that you love, would be people you'd be with anywhere.

I found myself thinking that a lot over the weekend. Around the campfire or on the lake shore, I just sat back and took it all in. I'm always in fear a little of bringing up the good. I don't want to brag anyone to death or, heaven forbid, make it all go away by talking about it. At the same time, though, that is what the good is about, isn't it? It's there to enjoy- to celebrate as if this feeling, this moment itself might be what we always use to define good.

Earlier in life, at times when I didn't know what awful really was, I wasn't great at recognizing life's truly good moments. I didn't really know the stark, meaningful contrast between love and hate or peace and fighting. Hate was the girl that purposely kicked sand on me, war was a yellow button I wore on my jacket.

Growing up, growing old, is such a bittersweet contrast in itself. The nostalgia, the lust for those days gone by is only overshadowed by the appreciation that develops over time. Over the weekend, as is often when friends get together, the question came up of would you ever go back in time?
My first instinct is to say yes, knowing what I know now, of course. But then I think about it, and realize nothing I remember would have been remotely as grand had I not had the privilege of innocence. I wouldn't have cared deeply about getting a perm or missing an episode of Beverly Hills 90210. I wouldn't have gotten butterflies at the thought of a boy sitting next to me on the bus or have been surprised by Halloween haunted houses. So no, today I'd say going back would just not work. Mostly, it would prevent moving forward. It would prevent weekends at the lake, to be with friends and reminisce.

And what are good weekends with empty margarita glasses and clear blue skies worth if you can't reminisce about being seventeen again? I certainly wouldn't be able to tell the story of the last time I was at this here lake, when the girls met up with the boys, likely all having stretched the truth with the parents. Where we walked shoulder to shoulder, wondering if he was going to take our hand. The boathouse where the girls would go to tell one another which boy liked them and which was a "loser." The hill where, in the late night hours, you might sneak off and, you know, read.
I don't need to go back to that. Remembering it is part of the magic. And life, in it's sneaky, quiet way just keeps getting better and better.


Sizzle said...

Those pics are so pretty! I think it's great when life feels good.

Bre said...

Sigh. I love this. I love the pictures, I love the words, all of it.

I'd especially love to be laying out there in the sun... with a cocktail... and John Cusack.

justrun said...

sizzle- Can't help but think it feels good because it IS. :)

Bre- Oh, you get it.

brookem said...

i totally get this. there is nothing like sitting with friends and just feeling totally at home. at peace. glad you had such a great weekend, and wonderful pictures!

justacoolcat said...

Here here!

I wouldn't want to go back and be young again even if I were paid.

Are those pictures you took?

e.b. said...

does this story also happen to involve a boy...hmmm

Cravey said...

had this same discussion this weekend, except everyone EVERYONE kept saying "if only I could go back!!" ack. I wouldn't either , not for a minute. Things are too good now, and there's so much promise for what's ahead.

Also, awesome photos.

justrun said...

brooke- I agree. Nothing like it.

JACC- Yep, they are.

e.b.- Don't all the best stories?
But no, this past weekend's does not.

cravey- I know... there's just too much fun yet to be!

egan said...

I wish I took the lead more often as a 17 year old and grabbed some girls hands. I was too shy though.

I love these pictures though. Great shots!

The Exception said...

I love this post.

If we go back, we might not end up where we are now... and where we are now looks like a pretty great place from these pictures! Okay, where you are now. I am in my office wishing I were outside, on a lake, with a camp fire, s'mores, friends, music, and... stars in a sky where there is no end to the possibilities.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You are far wiser than you have any right to be. You make me cringe to think of how silly I was at your age.

justrun said...

egan- Most boys didn't, which was probably good for me because if a boy would have actually took my hand every time I'd hoped, I would have had a heart attack at seventeen.

TE- Yeah, I'm convinced going back in my mind is the best.

Barb- Sometimes I feel "old" for my age... but then I contradict it by acting like an idiot 19-year-old. Balance. :)

Dawn said...

I remember those days of hoping a guy would grab my hand just like it was yesterday. WAS just yesterday. I still get all sqirrelly wondering if it'll happen. :)

skinnylittleblonde said...

people that you love, would be people you'd be with anywhere.

'Amen Sister' Award to you! :)
Peace...something so often taken for granted.

Backofpack said...

I don't want to go back...but I can't describe just how intensely I miss the babies, toddlers, children that my young men once were. I love them just as much now, as then, but I still miss the days when they were little, and the days when we were homeschooling. And at the same time, I wouldn't trade the joy I feel each time I see the young men they've become. It's bittersweet, for sure.

justacoolcat said...

Wow. Very nice.

Don't tell CameraPhone5000 it's so sensitive about these situations.