by Savannah Levins
I grew up between the Butts and Fulton county lines of Georgia. This state has given me everything: my name, my friends, my childhood memories, my education. I decided to attend the University of Georgia two years ago, a natural step for a girl whose heart is 1% muscle and 99% sweet tea, southern hospitality, and Saturdays between the hedges.
About 6 months ago, I made the decision to spend my summer in England and take courses at Oxford. The dirt roads I’ve grown accustomed to were replaced with cobblestone, buttermilk biscuits with scones, and sweet tea with hot-off-the-kettle Tetley’s.
I used to think that Jackson, Alpharetta, and Athens were three different worlds. Yet somehow I now find myself, over 4000 miles from home, sitting outside a local pub watching this small English town swell with excitement.
The royal baby is about to be born and suddenly 4000 miles doesn’t seem so far.
For all the differences and cultural barriers I’ve encountered this summer, the birth of this child has shown me that love and pride know no boarders.
A teary-eyed elderly woman sitting near me noticed the live coverage pulled up on my laptop and smiled at me. “I was thirteen when Elizabeth became the Queen,” she said. “I never knew how much that family would come to mean to me.”
It has been sixty-one years since Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne, and the long anticipated royal baby will be her third great-grandchild.
I do miss back-porch cookouts with my family. I miss calling the dawgs with my friends (and having complete strangers excitedly join in). I miss Stanford stadium and poolside iced tea and southern old ladies who say “bless your heart.” But in the midst of the excitement that currently surrounds me, I have learned that family, love, and traditions are universal.
While smiling crowds swarm Buckingham Palace and St. Mary’s hospital on this side of the world, someone is undoubtedly ringing the Chapel Bell in Athens. And as that familiar sound travels past the Arch, history is being made in England. A history that I, a Georgian far from home, am humbled to be able to witness.