Dixie Peach: For Paula

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

For Paula

Today was one of those really perfect January days. Cold, but the skies were clear and dry and the sun was bright and hanging low in the horizon. As I went for a walk this morning and enjoyed the crisp air I thought of my friend, Paula. She's been on my mind almost constantly these days.

I thought about what Paula and I would do on a day like today if she were here in Germany to visit me. I'd take her down by the river to walk along its banks, the sun shining off the water. Maybe we'd feed the ducks that gather by the shoreline looking for stale bread handouts. We'd walk along with our arms linked, helping each other stay warm. After a while we'd duck into a cafe to warm our fingers and faces over steaming cups and we'd laugh and talk without a break. Maybe we'd take the streetcar down to Hasselbach Platz to see the restored Baroque buildings. We'd have to go back to the market square and have lunch at my favorite restaurant and we wouldn't be able to wait until our currywurst and fries are served.

I'd like to take Paula down to the cathedral. In January it's always cold inside but it's quiet and being there gives a sense of strength and serenity. I'd tell Paula the story of how Magdeburg was sacked in 1631 and how only a small amount of its citizens remained to rebuild the city. It's a story about hope and faith and survival.

I wish that someday Paula really could visit me here. I'd do anything she wished, take her anyplace she'd want to go. Paula's also a story about hope and faith and survival. She's working hard at survival and her commitment to it never fails to amaze me. Paula's quite possibly the bravest person I know. Her sense of dignity and her straightforward approach to things encourage me. Whenever I get lazy, I think of Paula and how hard she works to get better. When I get intimidated, I think of Paula and how she faces her challenges head on. Whenever I feel like quitting and thinking that the effort isn't worth it, I think of how Paula keeps going even when the road ahead is difficult. I love her no-nonsense approach to people and how she doesn't want pity but wants lots of positive thoughts coming her way because she knows the power they hold.

I believe in that power too. I believe in it so much that I wish that every person who took the time to read here about Paula would take a moment to send some good thoughts her way. Prayers, positive thoughts, light and brightness, strength - every good thing that has the power to overcome fear and darkness and pain. I want for Paula every good thing in the world so that the world gets to keep a good person like her. A devoted wife. A loving mother. A loyal friend.

And on the day when Paula really does visit me whether it's on a perfect January day or a summery day in July or a twinkling night at the Christmas market, we'll share it with y'all too.

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Blogger Marsha said...

Sending good thoughts, prayers, and good wishes. I believe in the power of prayer.

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Mrs. Doyle said...

That is beautiful, Dix. Just beautiful. Paula inspires me, too. When she finishes up her visit with you in Germany, I hope she'll go home via my city because there are a few things I have promised to show her, too.

What a wonderful tribute to an amazing woman.

12:59 AM  
Blogger traveller one said...

I'm gonna keep Paula on my mind all day today ok?

6:36 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Thanks, y'all. I hope to keep heaping the love and hope on Paula.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

You know Paula's at the front of my mind these days, too. When she makes it to Magdeburg, I want to be there, too.

I'm learning so much from her, although I'd rather remain ignorant and have Paula well.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Paula said...

Hey y'all. It's me Paula and I'm speechless - not sure whether to laugh or cry. Maybe both?
I've got to get busy trying to live up to what Dixie has said here. :)
Funny thing is that Dixie inspires me and if I had her writing talent, I'd write this story about her.
Dixie, I love you. (did you know I lurk here sometimes?)

7:24 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Don't let Paula fool y'all - she more than lives up to anything I may say about her. She's nothing sort of amazing. I never knew before a person so brave and determined.

I love you too, Paula - ya lurker you! :)

1:52 PM  

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