It's the sound of the wooden floorboards creaking as you walk to the back of the deli to order a freshly crafted sandwich on homemade wholegrain bread. And seeing bicycles used for transportation by both college students and middle-ages professionals, toting books or bakery goods. It's knowing where to find cuts of a lesser-known Extra Sharp Cheddar, better than the popular brand, at a really good price. Or the familiar sight of flying monkeys on top of a public building. It's feeling that collective exhale the week after tourists depart, having crowded the streets and sidewalks while spending their money on trinkets to remember this place.
We all have a familiar place that wraps us in comfort, like an old quilt. I have just returned from my familiar place, with my mind awakened and my spirit refreshed. The journey is long and tiring, but I would do it again tomorrow if I could.