"A sense of place is the sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception together.” —Rebecca Solnit
The morning I left for college I went on one last run through my rural little neighborhood and I realized how much I was going to miss this place. I ran down the gravel-covered rolling hills. I passed by my crazy neighbor weeding in her garden and kept running along the brook that flows with the curves of road. I traveled under the big pine trees. I ran without my headphones so I could take in the beautiful sounds around me. I heard the rush of the brook and the chirp of the blue jays and robins. I listened to the roar of the occasional car as it traveled up the dirt road always slowing down and waving when they reached me. I got to the bottom of Bragg hill and turned left onto Main Street. The next two cars that passed both carried people I knew which was no surprise. My spanish teacher from junior year waved excitedly at me and the second car held my dad’s friend who stopped to offer me water. This happens on most of my runs and a huge part of why Norwich, Vermont feels so tight-knight. I ran farther into town until I reached my town’s only store called Dan and Whit’s. Their motto is, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it”. Its true. I once went in there looking for a present for my grandma and came out with an elephant-shaped watering can. It was extremely random but she definitely needed it. As I walked into the store out of breath I had my head down feeling gross and sweaty knowing full well I would see people I knew. Right on cue I heard a voice, “BRITTA!”. It was a boy from my school behind the meat counter. “You’re looking kind of nasty with all that sweat on your face”. His hilarious honestly made me want to cry. What was I going to do without all of these friendly faces? I bought a blue Gatorade and ran home, taking my time, not wanting this venture through my hometown to end.