Searching for Mayberry

Maybe we’re chasing an illusion, but I don’t think so. As I write this, my wife and I are trying to decide whether or not to stay here in the Nashville area or to continue “searching for Mayberry.” I originally wouldn't have thought of our journey in such terms but upon closer reflection I must admit that we are indeed on a quest for the type of community depicted in the popular television program.

The other day I read that a local author likened where we live here in Franklin to Mayberry and I had to agree that it comes as close as anywhere we’ve lived to date, and we’ve lived in some pretty cool places by anyone’s account. Whenever we mention living in such places as Savannah, Georgia and Celebration, Florida and Nantucket, Massachusetts and Franklin, Tennessee people act incredulous.

And we’ve not only lived in cool places but in cool spaces within those cool places, right in the heart of the historic districts of each. Suffice it to say that a sense of place is very important to us and we love living within walking distance of cafes and other so-called “third places” apart from work and home. But it is other people that we most desire to connect with and that part has been somewhat wanting in our experience.

While my wife is typically more sociable than I am we are both pretty outgoing and even though we have no trouble meeting and making friends it seems that people are often too busy to maintain friendships nowadays. And while we can’t necessarily turn back the clock to bygone days of yesteryear we are striving to live counterclockwise on our journey toward a kinder and gentler pace of living. We crave community and connection.