We had the second big rainstorm of the semester yesterday. When we stepped out of the cabin at 6:45, bleary as always, the trees outside were shuddering in the wind. The first droplets fell on and off through chores; by breakfast, stepping outside was like stepping into a shower.
We were all a bit distracted in classes, watching the rainfall outside the window and waiting for the weekend to begin. By about four, when OAP began, we were all so stir-crazy, or plain crazy, that we headed outside for mud football or walks in the woods.
I signed out of campus and went for a run along the road. It had been a long and busy week, and I wasn’t quite done; I still had an ethics paper and an environmental issues assignment to complete before bed. The chance to be alone and free of obligations, even soaking, even for only an hour, was nice.
The rain made the woods more beautiful, too. The colors were that much more vibrant against a grey sky. It was like a photo from a coffee table book, the bright leaves pasted to the road and hanging bedraggled from the branches like abandoned streamers.
The funny thing about being here is that natural beauty becomes ordinary. In most places, there is a distinct line between places to live and work and places to experience nature. Here, they’re one and the same. I sit outside doing my history reading, but I’m sitting in the dappled shade of a birch tree. I’m cramming for my science test, but I’m standing in a salt marsh watching the grass turn golden in the sunset. Somehow, in total, it’s more beautiful than I could hope to describe, or even fully remember.
-Emily Kirkland, New York, NY