So tonight, after our farewell dinner and a walk and a last drink with the crew, I spent some time wandering around the college and the city alone, taking some pictures, trying to process what exactly this three weeks in Cambridge has meant to me...
And so I sit, back to King's College, facing Trumpington street, thinking. During the day, this street is packed with tourists, but it's quiet now, or at least it seems that way at first. I pull my knees up to my chest and rest my head against the wall behind me, enjoying the coolness of the stone on my neck, and I notice the strains of violin music drifting from the red-awninged cafe across the street. There are voices too - the soothing whispers of hand-holding couples, the boisterous laughs of mini-skirt-clad teenage girls and the boys who are trying to impress them.
What is it that I have learned here? I ask myself. Why do I feel connected to this place? The answer comes slowly, in fragments. I have learned, I realize, that I am at home among academics, that on some level I fit in the university world. I've learned that maybe I could live in another country and be okay with it, even like it. I've been reminded that much of my joy in life comes from sharing it - all of it - with other people. And through it all, I've become more convinced, deep in my soul, that hope lies not in ideas or intelligence or people - but in Jesus.
And so, I realize, for all these reasons, Cambridge has been a good place for me, one which is certainly not home, and yet one - which on another level - very much is.