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A Friend is Someone Who Likes You

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops images of birds and bare trees in winter as she talks to herself and her dog.At seven o’clock in the morning, in the small woods next to my house, there was birdsong. Three different calls: melodious chirping, shrill cheep-cheeping, and clucking. Sweet welcoming sounds. Enticed by the opportunity to talk to someone other than my self or my dog, I called out to the birds, “Hey! It’s January. It’s a freezing polar vortex. What are you doing here?”

In answer, a sprinkling of birds dotted the sky overhead. Those birds. They were all out there singing, “Bring it on” and “Together, we can beat this thing.” And even though they were simply heralding in the new day, it reminded me of Facebook where recently I stated I wanted someone to say goodnight and good morning to (which is really kinda what birds do). Then, before I knew it, right on my laptop there’d been a whole chorus of cheering greetings. Good morning! Good morning. Goodnight.

Does anyone else remember the little book first published in 1958, titled A Friend is Someone Who Likes You, by Joan Walsh Anglund? She was right. Okay, I can hear you saying those people online aren’t really my friends. But Facebook brings new meaning to the words ‘friend’ and ‘likes.’ I got 83 likes from that single plea. On my birthday I got close to 200 birthday greetings. Strangers have stopped me in the gym saying, “We’re friends. On Facebook.” And because of all this attention I’m feeling warm and fuzzy as my dog.

The days may be dark and short. It may get stormy, with winds gusting fifty miles an hour and weather advisories warning to stay home and keep off the roads. Black ice. Temperatures and chill factors dropping below zero. Blizzards. Advancing polar fronts. Pipes in the house may freeze and burst. If the birds can thrive in this, so can I. I’ll cuddle up with the dog and a mug of cocoa, and go to Facebook where friends hang out at any hour of the day or night. Together, with all the likes and virtual hugs, we’re gonna make this winter great.

 

What do you do to survive the winter? What will you do to thrive in the next polar vortex?

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