\am-uh-RAN-thin\ , adjective;
1.Unfading; everlasting.
2.Of or like the amaranth flower.
3.Of purplish-red color.
To most who have had the pleasure of soaking up knowledge in Cornwell, climbing the walls of the infirmary, or eating a famous Miss Virginia omelet, Mars Hill College is a place full of people who leave an amaranthine mark on their lives.  I recently referred to the poem I found that was written by an alumna from 1951.  Beth Bridges brought tears to my eyes as she beautifully delineated what I’ve longed to be able to clearly say.  I wrote her a letter and she wrote back within the week and included a stack of pictures as tall as my tape dispenser.  I hope to fly to her home in Ireland one day and sip tea with her as we tell each other our Mars Hill memories.  In the meantime, enjoy:
To Bailey Mountain, and ‘The Hill,’ With Love
By Beth Bridges ‘51
Once, years and years ago-
            Or, it seems, only yesterday-
I saw my first mountain.
Not particularly high or grand,
But to a Florida child
            Something so perfect-
            So magical-
I climbed up its autumn slopes
Panting and straining my aching legs
            For what seemed hours,
To lie, finally stretched out and breathing hard
In the lap of its highest grass meadow.
This was the beginning-
            The first day
Of an enchantment.  From then on
            For a timeless time
I tasted a joy
            So piquant, so delicious
I never tasted the like of it again.
Dear old mountain,
I think it was you-
            Your permanence, your dignity-
That gave such radiance
            To all the bits of life
            At your feet.
Half a century may seem a long time
            To fireflies like ourselves
            Who light up a nano-second
            With our glint.
We come and go,
            But I’m still here to say
Those years at your feet
On that small patchwork of learning–
Those buildings we called “The Hill–
            Were the essence-
            The very definition
                        Of happiness.
In all these fifty years
I’ve never solved the mystery
            Of why,
So I won’t try,
            But I know
As sure as anyone knows anything
That all of life that followed
Was hung upon the framework
            Of that time

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