I walk along the sidewalks, wet with the splattering from the sprinklers. Cleome, Coreopsis and Lantana are embracing in small beds around lit lamp posts. I listen to the sounds of the football game across the street; another homecoming beckoning familiar faces to gather together once again. Children stand amid colorful balloons on backs of bleachers and announcements resonate from the eagle's nest.
I have warm memories of this place; the college campus where I worked just five years ago. I still hear friendly voices calling across the lawn, bells playing beloved hymns from the clock tower, laughter ringing behind office doors and a sense of family and togetherness; our own little community upon a handful of acreage.
I'd forgotten the homey trustfulness of this place as I walk from building to building; a silent observer left to my own devices in their echoing emptiness. Doors are left open, inviting and welcoming as the flourescent lights hum a familiar tune and I am encapsulated in a world of academic awareness. Cheery bulletin boards with colorful fliers line the hallways and plush chairs sit behind magazine-filled tables. I am alone with my thoughts; a solitary ghost haunted by sweet memories. Walking, feeling, remembering...
Dusk turns to night as I step beneath a lighted window. Someone is playing the piano; nimble fingers flowing across ivory. I gaze at the stain glass window above me, glowing with celestial illumination in the midst of midnight black. It is clear, calm and warm...perfection. The three flags representing this school, our lovely state and this magnificent country hang perfectly still in solemn allegiance. And I remember why I love it here.
My first night back in a town I know. A place that is dear. A place I called "home".