May in Ohio. The sun is out, the skies are blue and clear. The weather is warm and the air light with that headiness that is spring in the Midwest. Coming out of my iPod is a favorite tune from a band of my own youth; A Beautiful Morning by the Young Rascals.
A flood of pleasant memories come to me, of similar May days 39 years ago completing the final classes of my Senior year at Steubenville High School. The lightness and exuberance of youth with life in front of me, all its possibilities and potential. I was 17, finally graduating high school, with a steady girlfriend to take to the Prom, going to college, and a warm and relaxing summer in front of me.
The rest of this post is not about the regrets of a lost youth. Not at all. More like a celebration of that youthful joy and the dreams we dream.
Two weeks from this morning, on a similar bright sunny morn, my son Josh will finish the last day at his high school. He will join the Class of 2007 for a breakfast, supposedly to discuss graduation two days later, but more likely to give these teens something to do. After that final lecture of the year, the seniors will hop into cars for their traditional parade around Anderson High School. With horns honking, arms waving, and voices shouting, they will joyfully offer their final good-byes to this part of their youth. Then they will depart the school for the last time as students.
Even with tears in my eyes, all I can do is smile.
It’s a beautiful morning
I think I’ll go outside for awhile
And just smile
— A Beautiful Morning by The Young Rascals