Late in the morning, I sat on a stone step near the Clark Center and planted my palm into the freshly-cut grass beside me. The sunlight danced through the leaves of the slender tree to my right, scattering confetti of light across the vivid green patch of lawn. I could almost feel the coming autumn in the air. Since September has begun, some mornings carry a slight crispness that make me think of misty dawns, fire-colored leaves, pumpkins and home-baked joy.
I probably didn’t draw much attention sitting there with my hand in the grass, surrounded by the glass curvature of the Clark’s windowed walls. On the outside, I was a student breathing in the sunlit air. On the inside, though, I was struggling against a vague loneliness that had unexpectedly caught me in the middle of my day. I think it had something to do with not sleeping quite enough this week, if my drowsiness earlier that morning was any indication. After class, I wandered down the walkway and settled down on the step, feeling the beauty of the golden leaves against the clear blue sky even as I grappled to understand my own emotions.
And I determinedly pressed my hand to the ground.
Last week, a wonderful friend from my class shared with me what another classmate and friend had told her about experiencing the moment–about feeling the earth beneath your hand and the sunlight on your face, and realizing in that moment you are there, alive. So here I was, my eyes closed and my face to the wind as I tried to regroup myself for the afternoon.
That’s why I was sitting there with my hand in the grass. And I was reminded of the simple yet intricate beauty of a few willowy branches waving in the wind, painting the sky.
I was reminded just how good it is to be alive. 🙂