A year ago today, I moved back into Frederick city. And in the last 365 days of venturing out and about in Frederick and beyond -- going new places, trying new things and meeting new people -- I learned more than I anticipated.
- that my roots were deeper and stronger than I thought. And like the buds of the trees and flowers, I’d had been struggling to burst into blossom despite being met with sudden coldness on all sides after basking in what seemed an all -too-brief moment in the sun.
- that social, economic, and racial chasms are alive and flourishing in this town (as everywhere else), but there are many folks who transcend them.
- that I can walk from one end of Frederick to the other in just over an hour (well, sort of), or at least, practically anywhere I want or need to go.
- more things that I can live without. And things that I shouldn’t have to. (Like cheese. Thank you, Cherry Glen Farms!)
- that--inexplicably, for someone who studied both English and journalism (and writes for a living and for fun)--I had forgotten (and re-realized) the power and lasting effect of something as simple and profound as words.
- that people I thought never noticed or only saw me as a face they might recognize passing on the street, riding the bus or train, or frequenting one of the downtown businesses or the mall, actually had wanted to get to know me. And also: how quickly friendly acquaintances can become unfriendly strangers, but at the same time, kind people, unexpected friends, and warm-hearted strangers-no-more loomed large, and drew close like the recent “super moon,” and almost imperceptibly but effectively turned the tides for me.
- that talents I’ve neglected too long haven’t abandoned me, but they need some serious polishing.
- that maybe there’s a little something more latent inside me that bears tapping into (a couple of ladies I met on Casino Night First Saturday could tell you about that!)
- that despite all the nonsense that brews at many of the local bars and bubbles out into the the street, there are some places in which people just sit and mellow or uncork their stress and just breathe.
- that I’m not ‘just’ a resident -- still fresh in Frederick -- but, little by little, I’m becoming part of a community here.
There’s so much more, much of which stays close to my heart, and I intend to celebrate all of these things that have become part of and transformed my life this last twelve months. And then spend the rest of the year just growing and blooming where I now find myself planted, flourishing, and (I hope) brightening the days of everyone around.
Thank you, Frederick, for being a place where that can happen.