This entry is part of a blog series, Time Capsules, in which I tell you about places in our home where the blessings of our history are evident in stored artifacts. Today, I invite you to look with me at high school and college yearbooks that go back many decades!
I attended high school and college in a previous century. Back then, we purchased yearbooks that chronicled our personal and educational experiences. Each year’s edition also provided space for heartfelt messages and autographs from classmates and teachers. Yearbooks were precious keepsakes.
They still are.
When I open these volumes now, memories instantly flood my senses. The faces and names of my former classmates and teachers pop into place. I can hear the sound of their voices, remember their physical characteristics and revisit now-cherished experiences. (Chris and I were editors of our high school yearbooks in our senior years, so we also recall the work it took for our yearbook crews to assemble those pages!)
Over the decades, more and more of my teachers and fellow students have died. When I learn about their deaths, I go back to the yearbooks as a way of constructing my own private obituaries about them. At this time in my life, those memories are always appreciative and wistful– I still regret that I didn’t share fully enough how highly I thought of so many of them. I wonder how their lives’ stories played out. How they’re doing now.
When I reopen these records of my high school and college years, I am always grateful for those life-shaping experiences and relationships. I come away from those recollections with strengthened resolve to continue on the paths that were paved for me, to do what God has called me to do.
It’s always good to remember how I was once young. To see clearly how my present circumstances were so wonderfully shaped. To see how the choices I made have brought me to this stage in life.
And back-then yearbooks help sustain me for here-and-now….