a slip in time

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Two events occurred recently that made me question the passage of time. 

One was the appearance of Christmas decorations in the shops.  With mild panic I wondered what on earth had happened to the past year.  The shop assistant agreed with me.  We mused that we might be part of a Doctor Who episode where an evil villain is speeding up time.

The second was my 35 year high school reunion.  If the last year has gone quickly, then something approaching light speed can only describe what happened to the last 35! High school reunions can go many ways, and this one was no exception.  A mix of bitches, dramas, sadness, some boredom, high spirits, alcoholic spirits, a lazy DJ who played too much of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.  I was confident that I was a vast improvement on the shy, awkward brainiac with 1980’s coke-bottle glasses from back then.  In general the comments supported this.  Wow – you look fabulous! You were my first love and I was never brave enough to tell you.  Really? Maria?! And of course, where are your glasses?

Our school thrived in a unique period of time in a foreign country.  Our education had a wildness and sense of adventure that most do not have the pleasure of.  Was your Grade 10 school trip on a World War 2 battlefield that in ordinary life was a lush, tropical bay? Did you plant the grass on your school oval by hand during PE lessons, only to have it washed away in a tropical deluge? Did your family adopt another family, and take care of it?

It was a time of innocence, adventure, love and hope. A time of feeling truly alive.  As I got back on the plane the next day, I did not feel truly alive.  Largely this was due to my tardy bedtime of 3 AM. But for a brief moment I had stepped away from the daily grind of my life, and peered back in time.  Rarely glimpsed but richly missed, and still a strong undercurrent that carries me along. I cannot return to the place, but I think I can find that space again.  Slip along with time.  Though I might leave out those coke-bottle glasses.

by Maria Hennessy

Lydia Rigano