I'm celebrating an anniversary. One year ago this month, I moved to Davidson.
The transition was fairly easy, especially since I moved here from Concord, just a few miles down the road. I was familiar with the town. I had already been to a Concert on the Green and knew where to buy tickets for the Davidson Community Players. My favorite number - at least in basketball - was already 30.
But of course, there were things to learn. A Davidson education.
For example, take the cyclists. They're everywhere. Doesn't matter if it's a hot sunny weekend or an overcast Tuesday, they're biking down Rocky River Road or through my neighborhood. Which is great, I admire their devotion to the sport.
Those bikers are inspiring. So are the runners who line Davidson-Concord Road, making this appear to be the fittest town in the state. And I own a pair of running shoes, so why not join in?
It was great, for a moment. And then I got passed. By someone walking.
That's OK, though, because I can walk too. And there is no better place to walk than Davidson College's campus. Absolutely picturesque, with tree-lined brick walkways and something always in bloom, it's a postcard of what a college campus should look like.
I've spoken with several Davidson College students this year for this very column.
They've told me about how they've planned a community dinner dance, volunteered at the free clinic, or worked with autistic children. They're articulate and poised and passionate, and their enthusiasm is contagious. They are half my age, and they are humbling, having achieved so much already. They make me look at my own college experience and wish I hadn't spent so much time at fraternity parties.
They also take me back. I'll catch sight of a group of girls strolling across campus, hear them break into laughter, and the wave of nostalgia is enough to bring tears to my eyes. They are my past.
I see my present in this community as well. When stopped at the crosswalk as Davidson College Presbyterian Church preschool has let out, and the mothers are herding their children to their cars. Just watching them, I can almost feel my own toddler's warm, chubby hand in mine.
On Friday mornings, I see my future. That's when the bus from The Pines retirement community shuttles folks to the Harris Teeter. To live an entire lifetime in this community? I would be lucky.
It's hard for me to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes Davidson so special. I can only say that it's a feeling. A feeling you get when you are greeted at the Farmer's Market on a Saturday morning. Or when you are getting off at I-77 Exit 30 and that gorgeous water view takes your breath away. Perhaps it's the first cold sip of a homemade cherry coke at the Soda Shop. Or the sight of children gathered for an impromptu picnic on the Green in front of the library.
It's a feeling of community. I am proud to be Davidson.