A delightful surprise has been the number of nice personal notes I've gotten quickly in response, asking for more details and, in many cases, filling me in on what's going on in the life of the recipient. This has been great. I've been smiling a lot over the last two days at these connections.
One thing I find notable and hearwarming is the number of notes I've gotten, friendly notes of care and update, from people I've known since college -- in many cases from the Brown Band, but not exclusively. This made me remember that almost every time over the years I've made a major change, of job or address or anything really, the people I've known since college have checked in with words of greeting and support. It's really wonderful for me. It's almost illogically important and significant to me.
I'm not trying to make any sort of comparison here between particular groups of friends. I've been very fortunate in many ways to have felt the friendship and support of many fine people. You just have scan through my journal entries, for example to see how much my Morris team provides me in terms of feeling socially grounded and connected. But I'm thinking about the fact that I'm nearly fifty years old, and I've been out of college for over 28 years. How could such a relatively small percentage of my life hold so much richness and significance for me, in terms of who makes up my sense of connection and belonging? Who would have thought that all those hours singing songs in the back of the band bus would have such ramifications?
[Mary Ann: In the last day I've heard from Bill, Alan, Jessica, Janie, Nicole, Liz B, Gil, Susan Y, Joel, Irv (!), and Rozan (plus Sharon L, a few years behind us, whom I don't think you know) -- wonderful happy declarations of good wishes and serious invites to visit. And I'm only halfway through sending out my own notes. Boy, if I were to get married there would be the biggest Brown table, even three decades out.]
I have so bought in to the alumni office myth that your college is more than just the place you took some classes and lived in some bare buildings. I tear up at school songs.
I admit it: I'm a sentimental sop. But I have good reason to be, wouldn't you say?