Three events last month put me in a time warp: my 50th college reunion, a special gathering of classmates from high school and the deaths of two friends. In contrast to chronological time, which ticks along with steady disinterest even though it appears to speed up with each passing year, the time warp I experienced is kairotic (from the Greek, kairos) – an opportune moment filled with possibility and meaning.

At first glance the relationships from the reunions are anchored in the events of yesteryear and the persons we were at the time. However, the joy I found in reconnecting was not in going back to the past, but rather seeing that the relationships begun decades ago have become a springboard to what lies ahead.

The loss of the two friends with whom I have shared special times was a sad reminder of how quickly chromos ticks along and how important it is for us to seize the auspicious moment NOW. Inevitably, what lies ahead for us physically is decline, but as long as we are able, we have choice about the attitude we bring to the moment. One choice is to nurture those friendships that are grounded in common experiences. By choosing to renew and cultivate those connections, we go back to the future.