Like Coming Home

Posted on behalf of Nicholas Jansen, Social Media Coordinator, Team East

I come from a small town. A real small town. The small town where you literally know everyone, gossip spreads like wildfire and you can come back years later and nothing has changed. Growing up in a small town has its ups and downs but in my opinion, definitely more ups. One of the things I like best about being in a small town is whenever I go home for an event, I get hugged out (please don’t take that in a weird way). I guess I should have prefaced that with: where I come from, we hug. After not seeing friends, family members of friends, teachers, coaches and just people you’ve known for a long time, when you see them again, it is all smiles, how are you doings and you guessed it, hugging. There is so much hugging going on that it would often take me half an hour to just make it across our high school gym. Some people may think that is weird, but I love it! Being away at a big college and away all summer, I often get hug deprived. After today though, that I wasn’t.


Team East speaking at the rally!

Today was the rally at the state house in Boston that signaled the end of the state wide march against the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Somewhat breaking the rules, my team, Team East, biked just under 10 miles in the morning to take a bus from Templeton to Boston so we could be at the rally. Two of the other Climate Summer teams were also there, and that’s when the feelings of home started. After not seeing each other since our departure in late June, we were looking forward to seeing our friends again. And when we did, everyone’s face lit up, we ran to each other and we hugged. And then hugged some more.  The hugging didn’t stop there though.

We then saw Bob and Julie Jette from Dracut, Lindsey and Josh Sundberg from Ashburnham, Roberta from Ashby, our organizers from the training at Camp Wilmot, Steve and Janice Kurkoski from Warwick and the list goes on and on (sorry if I didn’t mention you, I just don’t have room)! We probably saw more than one person from almost every town we have been to this summer and you can bet your lucky penny that I hugged them all. Not going to lie, I’ve felt homesick a few times this summer, but not today. It’s funny that even though we only spend such a short amount of time in each of these communities, every person we interact with becomes so close. We have joked around that we have had over ten families adopt us this summer and today made that joke a little truer. It truly felt like I was seeing families and friends from home again and for a while, I felt like I was home.

I’ve said this before, but one thing I love about this movement is just the way it brings people together and today just further solidified that notion. This movement and these issues bring people together and forms bonds and relationships in very special ways. I know it is cheesy but I feel like I’ve left a part of me, a part of my heart along with all of these people this summer. They say that home is where the heart is and I believe that as long as I continue to do this work and fight alongside with these people, I’ll always feel like I’m coming home.


Me with some of the other Climate Riders!

About njansen16

My name is Nicholas Jansen and I'm entering my fourth and last year at the University of Michigan. My major is Program in the Environment (PitE) with a specialization in water.
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