For about three weeks the air around Durham has had this vague hint of change. It’s that feeling that you begin to get when you know the worst of winter is behind you and the promise of summer is on the horizon. It’s that intangible but very present Spring Feeling. Back home I always knew when spring had come just based on this feeling alone. I would go to bed one night and it would be winter, but the next day the sun would be that much brighter, the grass that much greener, and the air that much more charged with promise. I used to call that day Spring Day and it rarely corresponded to the first day of spring according to the calendar. It was always one of my favourite days at home.
I find it a bit odd actually that when people ask me my favourite season I always say autumn. I do adore autumn, that crisp bite in the air, the colours, the apple cider and spiced cakes. I find myself though missing spring at home terribly, more so than autumn. They are odd things that I miss, too, like the sound of lawn mowers. Who misses the sound of lawn mowers?! I miss going to Home Depot to potter around the garden section and choose flowers, herbs, and vegetable seeds for an epic garden plan I have in my head that never quite gets pulled off. Then I find myself thinking ahead to summer. I think the quintessential summer taste is water out of the garden hose, that slightly plastic, tubular taste. That, my friends, is childhood right there. It was inevitable that I would feel homesick at some point, it’s just surprising that spring would have triggered it so forcefully.
Spring in Durham is similar to home. There is still that charged feeling of promise, the grass is greener, the sun brighter, and the violets and daffodils have begun to pop up all over. I even got to hear a lawn mower while I was down in London last weekend for orientation at the V&A. It’s perhaps the similarities more than anything else that make me miss home. When the sun, grass, and air all feel like home, it seems impossible in my mind that there is an ocean between. Perhaps if life here was completely different I wouldn’t feel those pangs so keenly. As for now, when I begin to feel homesick, I close my eyes and imagine spring at home. Sitting on the porch, listening to the birds, watching the squirrels, planting flowers, making homemade pickles, riding my bike in the park, taking the ferrets outside to explore the wonders of the backyard, spring cleaning, more daylight, having the windows open and smelling the fresh air as it meanders through the house. When I close my eyes and think about these things, that ocean doesn’t seem so big after all.