"A sense of place is the sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception together.” —Rebecca Solnit
The tracks rumble under the roaring train. The ground vibrates ever so softly under my PF
Flyers. Slowly walking up the concrete steps, I look before me to a green open
field, separated from the gray by wooden benches that stretch horizontally. A
sweet fragrance of freshly cut grass lingers in the air. Though I have been to
this place many times before, there is always a pause in my strut to admire the
scenery before me. This is my dose of home away from home.
Born in the suburb but raised in the city, I have never experienced that sense of home
anywhere but on this small hill in the middle of Harlem, NY. This comforting
place has always felt like my home. This patch of green is bounded by stairs and
bushes on 135st. At the tip of City College of New York, I have hiked up this
long hill daily to A Philip Randolph Campus High School for the past four
years. No matter how early or late I was for school, for ten minutes every
morning I would sit on the benches and breathe in the odor of green grass.
The environment is one that brings everyone together, making it a fun place. After
school in the spring my team would hold lacrosse practice here. We would run up
and down the stair as a warm up. Struggling to pick up ground balls I remember
sprinting up and down the grass to catch balls before they made it to the
bottom. The hill became a part of my day.
This environment was not only a home to me but to other animals too. There is a large population of squirrels
who roam free around the grassland and up high in the trees that strive to
touch the sky. It is not uncommon to see a dog running through the grass
chasing the squirrels. This allowed the dogs to interact with each other, while
their owners could have a conversation and enjoy a breathe of relaxation.