A friendly love story…
“A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.” Douglas Pagels
Dawn and I met earlier this summer at Parkside Cafe at one of the very first I Believe in Birmingham gatherings. We literally bumped in to each other as the small crowd of hopeful local-centric do-gooders dispersed and networked within the quaint Avondale bar. She was familiar with The Manifesto and I was thrilled to meet another transplant-turned-Magic City enthusiast. (She migrated from Baltimore a few years back.) We hit it off right away.
Play dates, pool “meetings” and lots of chatter over the long, hot summer evolved in to a cozy little friendship. For me, life in Birmingham began to feel really settled with this new balance in my world. You see, Dawn is extremely intelligent/poised/patient/assertive – all the things I am not and never will be. I found great comfort in her company and, not surprisingly, the two of us together were making positive things happen. You have no idea just how intense our conversations about Birmingham were…really. For this brief moment in time I felt something big brewing, something I wouldn’t dare tackle alone and something I knew, we knew would pave the way for a magnificent future in which our children would enjoy. Synergy. Vision. We were the ultimate example of positive fusion.
“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” Albert Schweitzer
So, you can easily understand my disappointment when, over coffee in Five Points, Dawn confided that her family was being shipped off to Philadelphia as the result of her husband’s recent promotion. I tried to act excited/supportive/understanding. I wasn’t at all excited. I faked being supportive. I offered understanding because, well, I had no other choice.
We said our farewell about a month later (just a few weeks ago) at the newly opened Railroad Park and I felt a deep-rooted sadness as I walked away from what I had decided would be one of my most prized friendships in all of Jones Valley. It’s funny what life has in store… And let me just reflect for a moment: Moving to a new place with no office to report and/or husband-child-renovation-project-package does not lend itself to quickly establishing friendships. When you find a good one (at my age and with my need level for social interaction) you cling to it. You appreciate it. You savor every moment. I think friendships, the really good ones, get harder to find the older you get. Then again, friendships also tend to get a hell of a lot better with age…so there you go.
“Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them.” Francesco Guicciardini
Okay, okay. Enough with the melodrama. It’s 2010. Dawn and I have Facebook, Twitter, cell phones, texting, etc. “Modern” friendships are so très chic, after all. (Dawn, wanna’ Skype later?)
…now I have this to keep up with her, her two beautiful children, and all her new adventures in Philadelphia. Dawn has taken to the city with newcomer excitement, much like I did as I was so recently brand new here, in Birmingham. There’s a bit of personal, a dash of wit, plenty of new discoveries and, my personal favorite, a weekly installment called “Monday Minutiae“. It’s alot of fun. It’s refreshing. It’s all accounted for by my newest and most missed BFF who is (kind of) from Birmingham, so dig it.
I hope you’ll keep up with Dawn’s story, and if you didn’t know her in Birmingham, that’s a shame. She lived right under Vulcan’s buns of steel and she always knew how to finish a sentence. I’d be happy to tell you about her anytime…
Dawn, best of luck dear. Love you, miss you and selfishly counting down the days until we can treat ourselves to an adventure far and away and to someplace neither of us has ever been. We’ll write a book about it…
Magic City friends, meet The Philadelphia Outsider.