Sometimes a calendar date’s number signifies a beginning or an end. October 15th, for example, was the day Karl Behr died. The man revivified in Starboard at Midnight whose life story was then stolen and tragically misrepresented. October 15th is also significant as the birthday of another man I admire.
I’ve just gathered with boarding school friends to celebrate our coming-of-age: number 65. A pivotal point. A milestone. A keystone. A period at the end of this sentence . . . the gateway to “twilight” years. Much more of our life-time is now submerged under the surface, out of sight–an iceberg of liquid memory. The remaining years loom tall, white, threatening, majestic, triumphant, inevitable, and dead ahead.
We’ve lost more than a few classmates. We’ve lost too many parents and friends. But we’ve survived to reckon with the sadness. 65 is a birth day. A rite of passage. Our interest in each other is magnified. Our interest in our communities is now mature and more reflective of us as individuals than it used to be. At least those of us who are involved impress others who listen and admire.
Our definition has ripened. We are stronger in our own shoes, even in pain. Our knowledge and faith grows that we will stand at our ship’s helm.
At 65 we wonder how we made it so far, knowing that soon we’ll look back and marvel at how young we were when we thought we were old. Most of all, with tremendous gratitude, we realize how fortunate we are to have lived for this long.
It was a grand reunion at Leigh’s serene sailing harbor. A celebration with friends we treasure and can’t find often enough!