Forgive me, Carly Simon, for the lack of harmony in the title. I tried.
A camp friend tagged in an old photo on our camp’s website. I was 8 years old. About my son’s age. It sent me time-traveling through memories.
I was a camper for 10 of the 11 summers, from 1971 to 1981. Some of my earliest camp memories are Saturday night campfires where we sang and listened to stories under the night sky. Only as I am older do I understand the importance of those campfires. In my mind’s eye, we were sitting in the majesty of nature and day turned to night, singing together about friendship and emotions we were too young to understand (like those in Carly Simon’s Anticipation), and being part of a group as we each let our minds wander — sometimes to homesickness, sometimes just in the music, sometimes to how much we loved our friends sitting next to us. Sugar-coating in part, but only in small part.
So, this morning I had to follow the link to see other pictures. I found some crazy old pictures of people I hadn’t recalled in years. And I got so excited that I shared the pictures with camp friends on FaceBook whom I thought could remember their names. I wasn’t sure that my best friend for many of those years would remember so I didn’t send to her. Now I think I will, it is less important that she remember the names, but it will evoke for her a (I hope, happy) time — in all its wonderment and angst — that we, those campers of the 1970s, think of as the “Good Ol’ Days”. When we sang, “these arrrrrrree the good ol’ days”, we may not have known then what we know now: they were indeed so.
Just a little aside about FaceBook: Too many levels of contradictions and irony, among them, that it connects people who were friends in a time before fax machines and copiers (rexograph machines were it). Another blog entry, perhaps.
I was looking at these photos and smiling. Then my son switched off the cartoons and wanted to cuddle. I paused my trip to the OLD good ol’ days to enjoy the here and now. And I think, I am old enough to know — in real time, as this time with my son unfolds — that these moments, too, will be the Good Ol’ Days in short order.
I guess good ol’ days happen all the time. We just have to remember to enjoy the moment and then, years later, relive the memory.
And stay right here
‘Cause these are the good old days