I am in the South again for three days after being away more years than I can say. I’ve already said y’all about a dozen times and been called honey, darlin’ and ma’am, all to my delight! I’ve had grits, fried chicken, and BBQ and been offered sweet tea, though I like it plain.
I attended a thought-provoking lecture by a world-renowned philosophy professor and then discussed it over salad in the student dining hall with friends I’ve known since I was 18. I enjoyed bluegrass at a famous hole in the wall venue and danced to “soul” music under the moon.
I even spent some time doing something that rarely happened as a busy student, I’ve been sitting on Rand Terrace watching the world go by for nearly an hour, enjoying the splendid campus I was privileged to spend four years on. My friends and I have laughed about memories, antics, mistakes, being young; caught up on locations, retirement, and grandbabies.
We all agree that the cultural and physical landscape of our youth is always the one that fits like a favorite glove. The softness of the South is undeniable, maybe indescribable. Sure feels good to be so comfortable. But California has a deep stake in my life by now.
Best of all has been the many deep conversations with the remarkable people I went to college with. We’ve come from our far-flung places to be remembered for who we were, and recognized for who we are.
It is rich and I am thankful.