It’s staggering at how quickly time passes by without us noticing … 5, 10, 15 and 20 years disappear at the click of a finger. I look at my ‘kids’ today – my 10 year old is as tall as me. How on earth did that happen? Last time I looked she was knee-high and yet, is now towering above me. The ‘in-between’ years have just disappeared.
This was brought home to me this week by a long time friend who I spent many of my formative years with. When I was growing up, we had an excellent music service in our local area which focused on introducing children to the delights of learning to play musical instruments, and also, playing in orchestras and different groups to create and perform music together. It was magical. As a group of approx 85 players, we must have spent at least 10 years together, with large proportions of leisure time spent rehearsing and performing – not to mention the many trips and tours we undertook. For a large group of people in their teens, it was life defining for lots of reasons and strong friendships and bonds were made.
Like many things in life, we never appreciate it at the time and in true teenage fashion, we all turned 18 and left for various Universities dotted around the country – maintaining links with a small minority of friends, but losing contact with the majority.
25 years ago this month, we won the ‘best area orchestra in the UK’ award – following our performance at the Albert Hall in London – and it’s 25 years since I’ve seen a lot of those individuals. I have no idea where the time has gone but I do know that making an effort to reconnect with people who have shared so much time and life experience together is an opportunity worth taking and making happen.
The wonders of modern technology and social media has transformed how we stay in contact. Re-establishing links with those who we used to know so well is lovely – getting to know who they are today as well as sharing and reminiscing about who we were ‘back then’ is invigorating.
So I’ve awoken from my slumber and decided that if I don’t organise something, it could well be another 25 years before presented with another opportunity so I’m proud to say we have a 25 year reunion organised for the end of this month, a page set up on Facebook reconnecting people from our orchestra, and an appetite and enthusiasm from everyone for staying in contact. I’m looking forward to meeting up with my old friends enormously. I find it somewhat ironic that in meeting up again after a quarter of a century apart, I’m then relocating 2000 miles to Canada.
Still, all the more reason to treasure the moments, hold onto the memories and stay connected with friends.