I timidly walked to the center of my FYP classroom, clutching a piece of New Hampshire granite. I hesitated before I set it down amongst the pile of other stones from all over the country, running my fingers along its jagged ridges, not wanting to let go of the one piece of home I could still physically touch. Sure, my first few days at St. Lawrence had been great: my pre-orientation trip leaders were fun, my FYP-mates and I were bonding over our first Dana meals and FYP Cup soccer matches, but I missed the comfort of home. I especially missed the sunrises and the sunsets. As I attempted to convey the significance and the sacredness of this small paradise, the colors of the many sunrises and sunsets I had witnessed that summer during early morning runs and late afternoon drives home from work flashed through my mind. I closed my eyes and tightened my grip around my rock as the splashes of tangerine orange and salmon pink filled my mind. I thought about the way the colors danced across the peaks like a smooth, multicolored waltz. I pictured the view from the Jackson Falls Bridge where I so often witnessed the reflection of the transition from night to day. Yes, this is what I would miss most about home. The beauty and grace of the rise and fall of the sun in the mountains could never be topped. Or so I thought.
I still remember the first time I saw a St. Lawrence sunrise. After the first few days of being in a completely new and strange environment, the longing for home had only grown stronger. There was nothing familiar about this school. After a particularly sleepless night, I rolled out of bed to go for an early morning run before class. I decided I wanted to try to find this ‘Avenue of the Elms’ that everyone was talking about because it sounded a lot like one of the trails back home that I used to run on. But since I was a freshman with a poor sense of direction, naturally I got lost and ended up near the Senior Townhouses. I am so glad I did.
I ran along the pavement with my head down, frustrated that I couldn’t even navigate my way around this place I was supposed to call home for the next four years. As I rounded the corner to run along the golf course, I lifted my head and stopped dead in my tracks. The sky was the most beautiful shade of pink I had ever seen. It was a very unique pink, like a darker shade of pink sherbet, but with a little bit more orange mixed in. Salmon, with a tint of the lightest and softest glow from a flame. I stood there and watched as the sun began to reclaim its place in the sky.
As the sun rose, so did my spirits. Finally, I had found my sense of comfort 300 miles away from my personal paradise. The connection I was missing lit up the sky in front of me. Slowly, the feelings of discomfort faded away with the dull gray of the night sky. For the first time, I felt home.
Now, four years later, I still find a great deal of comfort in the sunrises and sunsets in Canton. They are some of the most beautiful and vibrant I have ever seen. Words cannot describe the sheer magnificence of the colors. Some evenings, the sky is on fire, so bright it lights up the campus with an amber glow. Others, it is filled with baby blues and pinks reminiscent of cotton candy. These colors, no matter what shade, have always calmed me after a stressful day filled with exams and presentations and have always relaxed me before a busy day at work. They have comforted me during times of sadness and have helped me feel at home. There is truly no filter needed for these amazing natural works of art.
Yes, this is what I will miss most about St. Lawrence.