It came today, delivered by a woman driving a FedEx truck. My daughter ran to the door eagerly to sign for the envelope; she'd been watching for the truck all day. Film Guy, who lives only a few miles away and who is going abroad through the same program, had just sent a text message to say his ticket had arrived, so we were looking out the window when the truck came.
My Beautiful Smart Wonderful Daughter has been looking forward to this semester since she began college. She has her passport and a converter for her laptop and a suitcase for the clothes she will bring. She's lived her whole life in Train Track Village, insulated by a close family and loving friends, she's spent two years of college in nearby Snowstorm City – and now she is ready to see more of the world. She leaves on Monday.
I know just how she feels. Twenty-five years ago during my junior year in college, I too spent a semester in the British City with Cathedrals and Theatres and the Houses of Parliament. I still look back at those four months as an amazing and wonderful time in my life, weeks of discovery and growth. I can close my eyes and remember exactly the smell of the fish and chips place around the corner, I can hear the muttered Arabic greetings I would get in the lobby of the building I lived in, I can feel the rattle of the trains we rode every day. As Hemingway noted, when you fall in love with a city at an impressionable age, you carry that city inside you for the rest of your life.