Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
June 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

A Love Letter to the Sun, Part III

In her annual love letter to the Sun, Selin Hos ’25 reflects on how the meaning of home has changed for her over the past three years.

Untitled_Artwork 3.png

This article is featured in the 2024 Green Key special issue.

Dear Sun, 

Are you playing hard to get this year? Perhaps I should have guessed from the fateful snowstorms earlier this term that you were planning to be a stranger. Can I be the first to say that I miss you? Your warm rays are a kind respite from the chill of the winter.  

In fact, I’ve been thinking a lot about you, my dear Sun. I’ve been thinking more deeply about the last love letter I wrote to you one year ago — and the one from two years prior. This love letter marks my third spring in Hanover, and I can’t help but notice the tone of longing and nostalgia that accompanied my last two letters. There was so much love in my first letter — so much appreciation for your golden warmth and the way you thaw even the most frozen of bones, healing the heart. But I also recognize now that my letter to you was tinged with homesickness, full of the marks of a girl who had newly left home and nearly completed her first full year away. It was a period where everything I knew had changed, and I had to adapt to a new pace with classes, friends, roommates and, well, weather. And though I had welcomed this change — even leaned into it — I can’t help but think that, at the end of the day, I missed the stability of home. And by extension, I missed you, Sun. I missed the way you shined down in Florida, constant and unfailing. 

By my second spring on campus, I had gotten more used to the melody of changes that accompanied this new stage of my life. I was still in the process of adjusting to life without my father, having watched as my hometown back in Florida was both metaphorically and physically — by virtue of Hurricane Ian — altered. And like all of the days that came before, Sun, you were there once again, the only constant in a whirlwind of change. I spent that love letter musing on the role of love, about how something — or someone — that you love so deeply can hurt you so profoundly. I likened it to you and your capacity for sunburns. I wondered if perhaps that was the role of love in our ephemeral lives — that to love is to eventually be hurt.

Now I wonder if it isn’t so much about love as it is about a home, or a place of belonging. During this third spring, Hanover has become just as much of a home for me as my home in Florida. In many ways, it has become even more so. There is a strong sense of place here, in this remote part of the New Hampshire woods. Hanover becomes home by virtue of those who consider it so. What was once a foreign, rural town in New Hampshire has now become the background setting for the countless emotions, memories and moments shared with those who I love. But as much as the people make the place, I can’t help but wonder how much the place also makes its people. 

You feel different to me now. I still miss your rays when you are gone, but I have now learned not to take you, or anyone, for granted. I do my best to cherish the little pockets of light whenever you do decide to shine, much like I cherish the small moments that I get to spend with the people who I love. It’s strange to think that you’ve been there for all these little moments, watching as my life has bled into the lives of all those around me. To be loved is to be changed, but perhaps to love is to be home.

All that you must know, dear Sun, all the stories you must have collected from your eons spent in the sky. There is only one of you to look over the eight billion of us human beings and our silly follies. Have you figured out what it means to make a place a home? Is it through love? Through people? Through shared experiences? You’ve been privy to all of the light, laughter and intimate details of our lives — did you recognize the moment Hanover became home for me?

Was it during my first snowball fight at Dartmouth? On the dance floor of my sorority’s summer formal? Was it when the flowers first bloomed after the first sunny day my freshman spring? On my 20th walk around Occom Pond? In the embrace of someone I love? Or was it the sight of the Upper Valley set ablaze under your sunlight in the fall, bursts of orange and red foliage covering the mountains? These are the makings of a home in Hanover. Surely, they’re a process that’s similar elsewhere in the world. You’ve been around long enough to understand that a home is just a matter of the heart. 

You hold the whole of human experience in your rays. I can’t help but wonder: is there anyone wiser than the Sun? 

With love, 

SH ’25