Saturday, April 2, 2016

19 Years Old. I Didn't Expect to Be Sent This Flashback Friday Photograph. Somewhere in England. Youth

I never saw this photograph, and it appeared last night when I learned my ol' friends Lena and Judy are reuniting later this month. They must be going through their things and reminiscing a bit. It seems like yesterday we were undergraduates having the time of our lives.

I met Judy the second I made it to JFK. Her friends were crying at her departure and I said, "Don't worry. I'll take care of her."

We landed and roommates were assigned. Judy was placed with Lena, and we made a trio: laughing, sharing stories, drinking the free drinks that were thrown at Judy at the bars (and that were handed over to Lena and me, who never had any money). We traveled the British Isles, did normal college-worthy excursions, took classes together, explored, and found all sorts of mischief. Actually, mischief only arose when Judy brought it around, because she was a magnet for the adventurous sort and I was always invited, with Lena, to tag along.

This photo, though, puts a smile on my face because it's one I've never seen. I'm not sure where we were, but I love the gray skies and all the green behind us. The three of us were also green at the, so young. And now a lot of life has come our way; I feel fortunate that we've been able to stay in touch.

I had the luck of doing the rest of my college years with Lena (and her roommate Becca) and Judy I continued to travel the United States after we graduated (she spent many Christmases at my house, too - loving mom's holiday cookies and giving herself a tummy ache every season). Judy remains the only friend I have, too, who has visited all my relatives and zapped them with her personality, energy, flavor and funk.

I wish I could join them on their reunion later this month (it's been 25 years), but my calendar is full. Seeing the photos brings me back to Wigmore Place, Regents College, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street, Canterbury, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and all the fringe theater we saw.

It was a trip full of spontaneity and growth - one that put me on the direction I've been on ever since. There, I studied with Carol Boyce Davies who single-handedly changed my worldview, global perspectives, and life-mission.

I am cherishing these photos immensely, especially because they came out of the blue.

No grays. No aches. For a little while, we lived totally stress free, wide-eyed and frivolous in our world. If only we could go back and live it all over again.

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