HOLY ROSARY FLORA & SPRINGTIME NOSTALGIA
I've been excessively nostalgic this spring. It's a consuming sickness I feel each year--when school winds down, when nature comes alive, when my birthday arrives and I add another tally to "years lived." Another year. Another season. Another spring.
Come May, it'll be three years since I graduated from Purdue. The Spring 2011 semester was my last, my best, and my favorite semester. I think of the time my friends and I spontaneously went on an ice cream run during dead week, dodging study groups and final papers. I think of eating at Olive House and Khana Khazana, the restaurants that left me open-minded and less picky. I think of rain showers and my Italian instructor's red tights, of one last fountain run. And I even think about the time I met Ty at the aforementioned Khana Khazana. He had missed my birthday party the week before, and, feeling guilty, he offered to meet me for Indian food. It was his gift to me--a night out.
That was the same day he gifted me Bill Bryson's The Mother Tongue. And the same day he presented me with a sonnet he had written about Quark, the it's-gonna-crash-it's-gonna-crash-it's-gonna-crash-oh-God-oh-damn software we used at the student newspaper.
Three years ago, we were just friends.
Three years ago, I would walk by Windsor Halls, stride past the clusters of daffodils that dotted the grounds. Today, the yellow blossoms scattered about my neighborhood remind me of those early morning walks. Today, the honeysuckle lotion I slather on before leaving the apartment is the same lotion I would slather on before heading to my theater appreciation class.
As it were, Ty and I stopped in West Lafayette yesterday. It had been more than a year since either of us had been on campus. We ate at a dining court, for the heck of it, and visited a friend at his dorm. We walked around for a bit and each picked up a copy of The Exponent. To me, campus still felt like "home." I had expected campus to feel like my visits to my hometown--a sort of living memory, like the overgrown swing set your dad still has in the backyard of your childhood home, or the vacant lot you would drive to after dark in order to sneak cigarettes. You know, like the fond memories of times you've outgrown.
I was completely surprised.
Sure, there are new buildings and different faces. But the sidewalks were the same, and the dining court was the same, and the weather was still beautiful, and the bell tower still chimed the hours and half hours, and it was home.