“You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.” ~Thomas Wolfe
On June 13th, my colleague and I watched the 8th grade class at the Gooden School graduate. I sat there thinking that when my 8th grade class graduated 50 years ago that we too knew exactly who we were and where we were going. The same seems true today for these young men and woman. They possess an innocent optimism that keeps them grounded in the present and hopeful for the future.
The closing line of the movie Stand by Me: “it seems to me that I never had any friends like the ones I had at twelve” reminds me of truths long forgotten and awakens memories of simpler more innocent times that in fact allowed me to know exactly who I was and exactly where I was going. I often tell young people anxious to grow up that “it’s not all it cracked up to be.” We become so absorbed in being “what” we are that “who” we are becomes a distant memory or at best a distant longing for wholeness.
It seems to me that Thomas Wolfe wasn’t lucky enough to attend his 50th graduation from grammar school. On June 23rd I’ll be doing just that. The anticipation is building and I’ve already been chatting it up with a few of the other twelve year olds in my class. You see Mr. Wolf about 40 sixty three olds are going home to be twelve again. We’re journeying home to remind ourselves of who we are and to share in the blessing of being twelve and sixty three at the same time. Home, Mr. Wolfe, is where you go to see where the dream began and continues to unfold today. It’s about “context” Mr. Wolfe. Sometimes you just need to go home, hang out with your best friends ever and allow yourself to be twelve again.
Mr. Wolfe, we’re saving a place at the table for you. Please join us.