People often ask me why the library is one of my favorite places on campus. Some students dread going into the library, working and not talking. However, I get excited by the notion that, even just for a short time, I will be surrounded by people and yet there will be silence. I miss the comfortable silence of home. I do not miss my Mom (well I do, but not so much that I’m going to blog about it), but I miss sitting silently with her on the couch watching TV at night or reading with her in the living room. I miss driving through the less urban towns near my house with my dad all bundled up for fall with the top down in his convertible. I miss lying around with my best friends and my boyfriend, talking about nothing and feeling totally comfortable. But I’m not homesick. I simply miss the silences of home.
On occasion here at school, I will walk into the Castle and walk to the top of the main staircase only to turn right back around and walk out. The floor in the Castle creaks. The floor in my dorm room, though it is clean and fine and does its job as a floor very well, is made of concrete. Concrete does not creak. Additionally, it does not shake very easily if you jump up and down when you have a petite frame such as mine. I miss the creak of my floor at home. I miss the way my sticky wooden door sounds when you shut it hard enough that you can feel it in your feet. I miss the creaky floor boards which cluster around my closet door and the corner of my bed; the way the stairs seem to sigh as you descend them in my old, Western Massachusetts home. And I miss being yelled at from the kitchen for bounding around upstairs, and being able to hear the chiding all the way in my bedroom. I am not homesick, but I do miss the sounds of home.
Every summer, my family goes away for vacation for a few weeks and once we get back, I can actually smell my house. When you live somewhere, you can’t smell it very well because it just becomes your normal scent. Since I got to school, I have only been home once and when I walked in the door, it had that “after vacation” smell, like I didn’t recognize the space I was in. Again, I am not homesick, but I miss the familiar scent of coming home.
I am not homesick. I do not wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat wishing I were in my own bed. I do not cry about missing my friends and family in the shower so no one will hear. I don’t call everyone from home every night, and I don’t feel totally lost being away at school. I have traveled a lot in my short time on this earth so far, so I am used to being away. I was also one of the many sleep away campers every summer starting in sixth grade, so I know what it is like to be away and I shall say again, I am not homesick. But I miss pieces of home. I miss the quiet and the creaks and sounds and smells. My senses miss home and that’s okay. I think that it took going away to school for me to really understand what it was like to miss parts of the place I love so much. Everything at home is very easy. I walk into an environment very familial and familiar to me. At home, my places and my routes and even people are all mapped out for me. Being at Arcadia is a new and foreign part of my life’s journey. I’m sure not in Western Mass anymore, but I don’t think I mind Glenside, Pa., so much either. I wouldn’t necessarily call Pennsylvania my home yet, but for the record, I am not homesick.