You will always be home to a part of me. The sentiment of what I said before I left Rome is true for you, too:
Oh, Rome, we’ve had less than four months together, but a lifetime wouldn’t be enough for you. After all, you’re the Eternal City–you’ve been here for thousands of years before me, and you’ll still be here after me. In a city of this scale, I never thought I’d really get my hands on you, but I’ve made pieces of you my own. And I haven’t left yet, but before I do, I’m leaving a piece of myself here too. I’ll be the girl in the dress sitting on the cobblestones of St. Peter’s Square, gazing up at the Basilica with a cone of gelato in my hand, still as completely in awe of you as I was my first night here back in August. Others may not see me, but a memory of me will always remain; you’ll know I’m there, and that’s enough.
Change months to years, and Rome to SLU, and the rest pretty well fits.
Soon, I will leave this place; others will take my place and fill the gaps I left. I’ll go back to my hometown–the only place that has shaped me more than you have–for a few months, then in August I’ll head off to boston for the year.
And before I know it, I’ll fall in love with that place to… and so the cycle will continue. I’ll meet more new faces, make new memories, gradually fall in love with another place and start to belong there, too. And after a year, I’ll move on from Boston, and it will continue again. Because that’s how life works if we are open to change.
As a wise Jesuit said at mass last night, “It’s happened before. It can happen again.”
And while that is so very, very true, I know that part of me will always, always belong here. I’ll linger in the hallway of 4 Walsh, on the benches in Xavier, and on the patio at Humphrey’s.
Thanks for the best four years of college I could have asked for.
[obviously, i wrote this a few months ago, but never posted it. backlogging it for my own info.]