YOUTH, HOW BRIEF, HOW SWEET
I just got home and I need to tell this. I will never forget it as it was like deja vu. I was at Karen’s Gifts and was returning on Hurstbourne Ln. I got stopped at a light and was about to rant under my breath, cuz it is a LONG LONG light to sit at. Just as I was about to say a few unkind words to the traffic light, and with Rush Limbaugh carrying on, on my radio, I heard a sound that felt and sounded like the voices of angels.
Sorry for the dramatic description. I glanced to my left and there in this beat-up white car—not REAL beat up, but a “beater” like teens drive when it is their first car…were two young boys…couldn’t have been over 16 or 17. They were singing their hearts out to the music on the radio. Their windows were down, the weather was warm, the wind was gentle, and the music of their voices was the only thing in the world. Time stopped like an almost out of body experience. They had faces so smooth it was doubtful that shaving was a necessity. They were sweet, handsome, young, men and they were filled with the kind of joy and abandon that seldom comes to those who have grown older. The driver leaned forward and sang the words to the song with such free exultation, that the other joined in to mach his partner’s intensity until my world was filled with the chorus of their voices. A moment in time; a purity of youth; then, the light changed and I lost the boys, and the moment. I drove on through the light and memories flooded my head of all of us Elmhurst girls going to Dales Drive-In, Halls, Gardners, JA, joyriding, or just heading out. Didn’t matter where. We also sang with joy and an abandon that we never would have thought would become dimmed in the years ahead.
We grew older, assumed responsibilities, had children of our own, then grandchildren, wrinkles, aging, pain, and suddenly whilst we weren’t looking, we turned 60, and then 61. I drove on home with a reverence I can’t explain. But, I knew I had just experienced a meaningful poignant moment of life. May the boys sing on; may they love and laugh and just live for the moment. I wish them never to grow up, or old, or responsible. Let them be; just let them be. Father time, leave these precious boys alone. A song of Simon and Garfunkle came to my mind and the words carried me: Sail on silver girl, sail on by. Your time has come to shine, all your cares are on their way, see how they shine… Today is the 3rd day of my retirement. I am a bit lost. I am searching. I am trying to find where I fit in, in this new scheme of things. God bless the precious boys in that car. Keep them safe; keep them happy; please, God, let them stay young.