Martha

Hi friends. It has been so long since I’ve updated you on my life, but it feels like no time at all some days.

Boston has opened the door to so many grand adventures in the last three months. It’s wooing me with its history, literary icons, and stunning landscapes. Temperatures have dipped into the 60’s most days and the trees are just tinged with the coming burst of color. There’s anticipation in the air.

BUT, more on that later.

I’m really here to wish you a happy October. This month is full of apple picking, bonfires, fall gatherings, pumpkin spice, football, and post-season baseball. This begins the final quarter of the year, the quarter so intricately bound in gathering. It is my favorite.

There’s nothing deep or wise about this little interruption to your day. It’s honestly more about me bragging and sharing my excitement than anything else.

On the first Saturday of October each year the Berry College community gathers to celebrate the birth of our founder, Martha Berry. There are marches, color-coordinated clothing for undergraduates, pennies held in sweaty hands before being tossed into a basket at the bottom of a hill, picnics, Olympic competitions, and a million other nuances I can’t begin to explain. Every school has their traditions and I’m sure I’m just bought into this cult-like celebratory weekend because of my affiliation with BC, but I love it with my whole heart. Martha has created something that has changed my world in a million tiny ways.

Part of what makes this celebration so wonderful to me is that it’s a big, giant birthday party. How wild and wonderful that one woman’s gumption has rippled through thousands of lives and her birthday is still celebrated with joy and excitement and tradition each year. Honestly, goals. If I could have one thing in the whole world it would be to have all of my people together at one time for a party. If it’s my birthday that makes that happen, I’m all for it. If it’s Martha’s birthday, I’m there, too, and right now it seems more likely to be Martha’s day.

Everyone comes home for Mountain Day. Okay, that’s only mostly true. There are years when some can’t come for one reason or another (like that time I was in Africa or the year Emily & Kyle had just moved to Chicago) and as time goes by some only show up for the more noteworthy years – 5 year or 10 year anniversaries and the like. But for the most part people make the pilgrimage far up into the hills of Georgia where Berry stands tried and true, whether newly graduated or not. My favorite part has always been walking around the mountain between lawn chairs and picnic blankets and finding familiar faces I didn’t expect to see, haven’t seen in quite some time. But I’ve always experienced Mountain Day from the perspective of the one everyone comes home to, both in college and in the years since as a resident of Rome.

This year I get to go home.

I know I’ve only been away from Rome for about three months with a quick weekend tucked in there to catch up on sleep and porch-sitting, but my favorite holiday is fast approaching and I cannot wait to get back. Some of my nearest and dearest pals will be there (like Abby & Joseph who I know will always be on the Mountain) and there will be food and t-shirts and plastic cups in abundance. More than Martha’s birthday celebration and the penny basket, I’m so grateful for this tribe of people I call mine. Because of Martha, I get to know you and that is worth celebrating.

See you on the Mountain!

 

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Martha, herself, courtesy of the Dickey Living Room

 

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