This is a toast I gave for Karen Leland on her 50th birthday. I had ten minutes to tell her 80 friends in the room all the wonderful things about her. This is what I said:
There’s only one good thing I can say about social media. It’s how I met Karen. While other people were tweeting and Facebooking Karen & I were hooking up on LinkedIn.
I liked her right away from her email. I could feel her good heart right though the words in an instant. Even before we talked on the phone. There was something sweet and sassy about her, an honesty that showed right up. When we talked on the phone she said we had the same bav. Bav? The Hindu word for vibration, she said. Karen and I baved and I felt pretty special about it.
But then later as I got to know her I started seeing how she baved with other people. She baved with my sweetie, Will, she baved with clients, she baved with the yoga instructor, she bavved with waiters, I bet she’s baved with you and you and you and you. Karen bavs everywhere she goes. She’s a baver.
The first time we met in person was when Karen suggested lunch. I liked her even more for wanted to bav over food. But I was afraid she was going spoil the bav by being one of these women who ordered one of those tiny salads and then said she was too full for dessert and then I’d have to UNFRIEND her.
But no. We met at my favorite Thai restaurant, and ordered, papaya salad, pad Thai, chicken satay, grilled pork chops, eggrolls and tea. Then we each ordered our own dessert. In the middle of the feast Karen cried out I’m so glad you’re an EATER! And I echoed the same to her. Karen has appetites.
Appetites to create beauty wherever she goes. Her house is a reflection of her eye for creating beauty. She reads like a scholar, zesting down books, words, stories, the things that describe and explain and make life richer. She writes about what moves her… and what she likes to eat.
She gives great gifts. Any of you who have received hand made cards from her of her photographs and art see the thought and love that goes into a creation just for you. I remember going over to her house for lunch and being so impressed with the way she served a perfect poached pear — with chocolate. As we girls know fruit isn’t a real dessert. She doesn’t forget the small touches. There are no such things as small touches.
But there’s one thing about a bav. It’s not about time. You don’t have to have had years of experiences that you’ve shared from childhood, you don’t have to have bonded in a crises. It’s about a moment, a way of being that lasts.
Karen has baved with all of you and I’m sure that there’s lots of baving in her future. And though I’m not alone in feeling special, I’m really glad that she reached out and baved with me.