The ‘M Bridge’, the ‘New Bridge’, or more officially the Hernando De Soto Bridge; as much as it represents an obvious ‘M’ for Memphis, structural and architectural brilliance and a city’s renewal and pride. It symbolizes something much more for me than that.
Ten years ago this month I stepped foot in this foreign land for the very first time, everything noticeably bigger from my small native island. It had me feeling somewhat lost and wondered if it would ever feel like home. From Memphis I remember taking a weekend trip over to Heber Springs, AR with some new found friends and was quickly reminded that the feeling of ‘home’ was not made by the physical place you choose to live but rather, made by the people you encounter.
On our return from Heber Springs, as we drove over the M bridge, my friend shared a sweet story of how she and her newly wedded husband had driven back to Memphis when they had just started dating and had one of those ‘this is the one’ moments! Picture this; the sun had already started to set, they see the M Bridge approaching, twinkling lights reflecting over the river and U2’s ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ just so happens to start playing. She went on to tell me how perfect of a moment it seemed to her that the (1:46 minute) intro that had gradually been building was so flawlessly timed with the entrance onto the bridge! Though their story has a romantic twist, I think back to that weekend and time period whenever I see the bridge and it creates this sense of ‘home’ and belonging.
I took these pictures early one morning as the sun was starting to rise. A rare and welcome stillness for a city so vibrant as Memphis. On a separate occassion I took this picture below capturing one of the neighboring bridges in the background from one of the highest points overlooking the river at the old Tennessee Brewery. It never quite blended in with any of the other pictures I’d taken that day but I believe it has finally found it’s place! Perhaps a little personal parallel here :-)
I enjoy seeing so many Memphis residents posting up beautiful sunset or sunrise pictures of the bridge or different parts of the city, simply captioned with ‘I love my city’ or ‘Choose 901′! There is such a genuine excitement and pride within the community, celebrating its roots, progress and redevelopment despite so many historical and current challenges. There seems to be an overwhelming desire to make a difference and impact lives, especially being the hub of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital – volunteer and fundraising opportunities are endless and free community events countless. Not to mention the incredible support of Memphis’ local businesses that help to build this strong community and in turn contribute to local causes among other things… Fortunately, as many of my friends spread widely across the world will attest to- this is not just unique to Memphis, but as this is my home for now, I will continue to enjoy all that it is!
For more photos, see the gallery here!
(Please let me know if you’d like me to add your local ‘love Memphis’ blogs to this list!)