Tuesday, April 21, 2015
a time capsule
I have had the profound blessing in my life of having a lifelong friend. Chanda moved in next door to us in 1977 or thereabouts, when we were both around the age of three. She was the oldest of two girls, I was third in a family of four. She lived in a brand new bungalow, and I lived in a century-old brick farmhouse. She was athletic and driven, I was a book-loving day-dreamer. There were many reasons that we might not have been friends, but somehow, we were.
Each day before school, I'd walk to her house and wait for her to finish her stepdancing practice (this is her in the red top, bringing the house down in performance with her husband (on drums), and sisters- and brothers-in-law), and we'd walk to school together. Our evenings were spent outside, imagining that the snowflakes were fairies twirling in the streetlight glow, running in the woods, and riding our bikes around town the way kids in the 70s and 80s could.
When we were 12, Chanda created a time capsule for us. The note on the box forbade us to open it until the far and distant future: 2014 to be exact, when we'd both be FORTY (and therefore too ancient to imagine). I tucked it into a trunk and carted it from house to house until it came to rest in our old garage at the homestead.
The other day Chanda landed in at my house with her six children in tow. Our gang of ten children (altogether) disappeared outside, and we enjoyed a rare quiet cup of tea. Suddenly, I remembered the time capsule, hidden in the old trunk that is itself a time capsule. More accurately, it's an archaeological site, with layers of pictures, mementoes, notes, and boxes representing my youth. The more recent years give way to my old journals from high school.
Then, right at the bottom, I found it. The time capsule.
For 28 years I have pondered what might be hidden within, and we'd finally arrived in the future. Here we are! I'm 41 now, and she's 40. She home-schools and runs a dance studio, and I'm a school teacher. She's still athletic and I still prefer a book and knitting over running around.
After laughing at the note on the box, we admired her handiwork from long ago, then I slowly uncovered the treasure within. What did we find?
A penny from the year 1974, the year we were both born.
Perhaps it was a lucky penny. As our children poured in the door for a slap-together meal on paper plates, the house filled with their laughter and coversations. They are all friends now, too, and we get to watch their relationships blossom.
Lucky? You bet.