The campus slowly comes into view. I can see the girls’ dorm first, with its stark brick facade and host of memories intact. I took the scenic route here, through the old city with its “Grand” theater that is actually playing current fare, and its little old houses lined up in haphazard rows, past the rolling hills that characterize this area, and finally down to the campus.
What did I expect from this place? As I drive past the old administration building I can finally see the boys’ dorm, the site of so many beginnings and one particular bad ending. But going back is never about just the place, the buildings where so many memories were made. It’s about the people, too, those individuals who inhabited the old buildings with me, who made the experience all worthwhile.
So, I park the car and step outside. I smell the fresh rain that continues to fall from the sky, evoking even more memories of wet April days in the Pennsylvania hills. And it is still falling, but more slowly than before, a mist that makes the campus seem magical in nature, like a place in a storybook. I am back. And so it begins.