Sunday, October 31, 2010

Soaring and Landing

Last night was the 30 year reunion of SAHS class of 1980. When our 20-year reunion came along, I remember debating whether or not to go, since I only kept in touch with a handful of classmates over the years. I finally made the decision to go ON the day of the reunion. The deciding factor was that I had received an unexpected check in the mail which covered all but $20 of the reunion ticket. Maybe it's just me, but there was something I noticed that was kind of funny.  at the beginning of the evening everyone talked with anyone regardless of who they were. At the end of the evening, everyone broke into the same cliques they used to hang out with in high school. And since I was one of the quiet ones in school, I found myself at the end of the party sitting at a table with other quiet ones, pretty much watching every one else have fun.

This year when the reunion committee announced there would be a gathering of the Saints, I was reluctant to throw my hat into the ring and commit to attending. But since the 20-year reunion, social networking, particularly Facebook, turned the way we define "community" inside-out. I had reconnected with classmates that, ironically, I had never talked to outside of the classroom during my high school years. The same people that I could "never be like" in school (the cheerleaders, athletes, trouble-makers, social butterflies, etc.) turned out to be real people, with real situations. Many were divorced, one of them three times. Several had had major illnesses themselves, children with severe chronic illnesses, even the loss of a dear little angel. And there were many who had lasting marriages of 20 or 25 years, or more. Some with kids in college, and I'm sure some had kids in trouble. We have classmates who are in jail, and some that are very successful in their professional fields. And it didn't matter who you were, at the end of the evening people were having conversations with people they rarely talked to in school.

This week's Topical Blogger theme is "Flying Hearts." Initially, the image of a flying heart brings to mind a heart that is lifted up, allowed and encouraged to soar to new heights that it was never allowed to before. But, like all things that fly, it must come to land at some time and place. Throughout the years we've all had a crash-landing or two, where hearts have been hurt, even broken or shattered. Thankfully, there has been someone to come along side of us, to help us put the pieces back together, and strengthen the feathers in our heart-wings so we can soar once again. The people who come alongside of us are seen as heroes, even angels, who changed our lives. Our peers look at the once-broken, and see them as heroes who inspire us to fly higher than we thought we could. For the most part, the hero looks in the mirror and sees just an ordinary person, and the "heroic" thing they did was nothing special to them - it's just how they roll.

Everyone of us is a hero in one way or another. Each one of us is a feather in our heart-wings. To the Saints of 1980, may our hearts continue to soar. May we strengthen each other's wings so we can all soar together. Hopefully all our landings will be in a place of comfort, a place where we finds acceptance, where there is a sense of home. Let us celebrate the safe landings together! But we know there will be some landings that will be hard. If that happens to you, don't go it alone. Chances are you've been an unlikely hero to someone; allow someone to be an unlikely hero to you. If it happens to someone you know but don't know well, do what comes naturally. You may unexpectedly be the hero he or she needs to fly again.

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