I grew up as military dependent. Recently on Facebook, Harald, an old friend, has posted hundreds of picture from high school days in Karlsruhe, Germany. As I look through the photos, I’m struck by the melting pot we were…black, white, and shades in between, not just peacefully co-existing, but having a great time together.
When I moved to Austin to attend UT, I experienced such culture shock (hippy haven aside). Where were all the black people? Where were the people who represented my experience living on the base? What do you mean, they live only on the East side?
I’ve never again felt quite that same type of connection with people that I had in those days. No matter how many years go by, when another old friend resurfaces, it’s as if time never passed. Every one of those photos Harald posted reminds me of the gift my childhood was. Am I looking through rose-colored glasses and seeing only the good? Or is it that it really was that good?
Every few years, we get together some place wonderful and have a reunion. In a nanosecond, we rekindle the friendship we had as kids, without any awkward getting used to each other time required. I wonder, when life ends, if it will be like the final episode of Lost? Will those be the faces I see?
I like to think so…
©Maria K. Benning, M.Ed.