They say home is where the heart is. If that’s the case, I’ve got “homes” all over the world. No matter where I’ve lived and where I’ve traveled, every place has captured a bit of my heart. Though I only officially have one residence, my heart beats a special rhythm for many of the places I’ve been to.
A huge piece of real estate in my heart is taken up by my childhood home in metro Detroit. So much so that I wear the longitude and latitude coordinates engraved on a necklace. My first apartment captured my independence. The time I spent in South Dakota left me with a newfound confidence in meeting challenges. And while it was anything but fancy, the place I lived when my daughter was born will always be special.
I left big chunks of my heart in Scotland, where my daughter went to school. And in Italy, where we spent a family vacation. When I traveled around the world covering work that Spartans were doing across the globe, the moving experiences made far off places like Zambia, Brazil, China, Malawi and India feel like home. I know I left my heart in those places — especially with the children I met.
And, this Spartan heart that bleeds green, feels at home on campus. Not just in the third-floor room of Campbell Hall where I lived freshman year or in my current office (which I haven’t seen since March), but everywhere I’ve been. Like so many before and so many that will come after me, this campus will always feel like home, even when I’m not there.
This year has been especially challenging since so many of us can’t be on campus. This week, when we’d normally be celebrating Homecoming in person with activities, parades and a football game, we have to settle for celebrating virtually. It’s not ideal, but you don’t have to physically be someplace for it to still feel like home. After all, home truly is where the heart is.
I have a feeling Cesar Chavez might have left a bit of his heart here at MSU. He left a legacy that lives on in mid-Michigan and on campus. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and check out the MSUToday article, Cesar Chavez’s legacy at MSU, to learn more about his work.
I’m certain that while their year as Homecoming Court members will certainly be different than they expected, students like Brandon Crawford and Abii-Tah Chungong Bih will always call MSU home.
Brandon says, “No matter how hard life gets, we always find the strength to persevere. I firmly believe we are on the cusp of something fantastic and our sacrifices the past few months haven’t been in vain.” Read more from him in the Student view: Being a Spartan.
Abii-Tah, who came to MSU from Cameroon, says, “I am able to find peace in this pandemic because of the certainty that our virtual community is strengthening — as long as we continue to imagine ourselves in each other. If we continue to be the ‘Whites' to each other’s 'Greens,’ our bond and values will withstand this whirlwind of a pandemic.” Read more from her in the Student view: The bond that unites us.
No matter where you come from or where you go, there is always room in your heart to make MSU your home. Even if it’s virtually, come home often. We’ll leave a light on for you. A green one, of course. #SpartansWill.