Birmingham and I went through a rough patch at the end of last year. That happens at some point in most relationships, but it was a first for my eight-year love affair with this city. I sometimes wondered if the city still cared about me or the people I love. It was a tough few months.
Something changed in March, and I knew we would get through it, together. But some time before then, the very cool public radio program State of the Re:Union (incidentally, based in my hometown) visited Birmingham to record an episode for its second season. In each place they stop, the producers ask residents to write letters to the city. Some writers read theirs aloud for the program, and others are published online when the episode airs.
I wrote my letter to Birmingham during my rough patch. I was hurting and couldn’t bring myself to write about it in a very personal way. But I knew that, no matter what was ahead for me, I love this city and always will. The result, published in full on SOTRU’s website, is a tribute to the Magic City, the place I call home and a city that will always hold a piece of my heart.
You are beautiful. I know that’s a message you’ve heard a lot lately, from the spray-painted graffiti that has appeared on overpasses and walls, and its echoes in newspaper columns and Facebook groups. It’s a message you should repeat to yourself, day after day. Cling to its truth.