By Sarah Goldy-Brown

After spending a solid 41 days in Philly, I returned home for Spring break (“spring” here being used as a title, not to define the weather).

Coming back to my small suburban hometown (filled with farmland, pizza shops, and churches) has been a nice change of pace and I have certainly noticed a few things since leaving the city…

1) Silence is something I most certainly take for granted.

When I came home for the first time, no one else was in the house.  I was left completely alone and in complete SILENCE.  When you live right on Broad Street with your desk right next to the window facing the street and your bed not too far over, you truly get to enjoy (?) the sounds of the city at all hours–police sirens, ambulances, car horns, people screaming, and, of course, the subway (I like to call him Forrest).  Oh silence, how I have missed you.

2) The sky still does contain stars.

I spent my first night of break back on Messiah’s main campus in Grantham and when I walked back from throwing Frisbee in the gym that night, I looked up and saw something I had not seen in quite some time:  STARS.  I have missed seeing that part of God’s Creation during my time in Philly.  The streets in the city are lit up so brightly at night that it is nearly impossible to see any stars.  Not that I’m complaining though, because  I am extremely glad that it seems like daytime at all hours around MCPC.  If it did not, I do not know that I would even be outside at the hours the stars are anyways.

3) My lungs love fresh air.

A city = high population density which = close proximity which = the impossibility of avoiding smoke-filled air.  Walking around Temple’s campus does not allow a person to enjoy fresh breathing air.  The amount of students that smoke at Temple astonishes me and has caused a great deal of coughing and second-hand smoke inhalation.  Getting some nice breaths of fresh outdoor air has been quite refreshing.

4) I am dependent on the convenience of the city.

I am a self-proclaimed slushy addict and I became a bit too overjoyed to learn that Temple had a 7-11 only a 4 minute walk from MCPC.  That being said, when I came home, it felt a tad unnatural to put aside 30 minutes just to get a Slurpee.  I had to grab my keys, get in the car, and drive all the way into town to fulfill my frozen beverage desires.  At home, the only place I could comfortably walk to is a pizza shop and even that would require risking my life walking along curved roads and about 2 hours of my time.  Living at MCPC means that pretty much everything I could want to buy is within walking distance which is something I definitely appreciate.

5) The polar vortex is not just contained within the city limits of Philadelphia.

I had some false hope or fantasy that somehow the rest of the state of Pennsylvania (or at least where I live) had actually been enjoying some semi-comfortable outdoor temperatures.  I was wrong.  It appears the abnormally cold winter has surpassed city limits and infiltrated the entire state.  Sometimes reality hurts (like cold wind hitting you in the face every time you walk outside).

I’m hopeful that by the time I return on Sunday, Spring will have arrived in the City of Brotherly Love (or at least be very close to on its way) and the view out my window (see below) will be a whole lot different.