As we are approaching the middle of the semester, I find myself needing to find some personal time. Don’t get me wrong. Reading Joyce’s Ulysses, solving combinatorial problems focusing on guaranteeing a great party, and writing my math thesis on entropy and its relevance to Bayesian statistics really do make me happy, but it’s easy to get lost in the work and lose perspective. I make an effort to make time for myself everyday.
Everyone has their own way of de-stressing, whether it’s having a dance party in your own room, doing your best impression of Kate Bush in the shower at the top of your lungs, engaging in some cardio ballet or going on midnight jogs (Note, I’m not claiming any of these comes from personal experience). My trick of letting the steam out regularly consists of two things: taking walks and lighting scented candles. The latter is actually a way to make the former happen when the weather makes it impossible to take a gander in the woods. I love the smell of moist wood, grass, and mossy air. I could go on and on about my favorite candles… contact me personally if you’d like a personal recommendation. Anyhow, it’s been raining here for a while, which means the surrounding areas have transformed into an absolute dream for the likes of me!
This past Sunday, I decided I needed a break from my three-hour thesis session in the library. I headed back to my room, put my boots on, turned on my iPod, and started making my way towards the college organic garden. The organic garden is about five minutes away from my room. You get to pass by twenty or so solar panels on your way there. The college organic garden has a great selection of produce (the kale looked particularly yummy) and flowers. You can sign up for a certain number of volunteer hours and depending on your hours (you can split with a friend) and get a CSA basket filled with goodies from the garden! Anyhow, here’s a little sneak peak of the garden.
The temperature is starting to drop, but I got to get see some flowers still in bloom.
The picnic table is a very popular place to eat out when it’s warm. The shed is such a cool spot as well!
This is from the greenhouse. There were some tomatoes starting to turn red and yellow, but for some reason, I love the look of green tomatoes so much.
After you walk through the organic garden, you come across a huge grass plain. (Couldn’t help the temptation of Instagram — doesn’t this remind you of Wuthering Heights?) Even though it was rainy, dark, and foggy, it was still so beautiful. After you follow the path for a bit, you see a small opening into the woods!
This segment is called the Class of ’97 trail, and it’s part of the TAM (Trail Around Middlebury). Many students, myself included, love running on the TAM. In the winter, the snow makes it an amazing cross-country ski trail as well. Anyhow, you cross a little bridge as you get deeper into the woods, you come across this lovely part of the trail.
Doesn’t this remind you of Narnia? Lord of the Rings? The Forbidden Forest? Whatever it is, this is definitely one of my favorite places. It’s so magical. Out of this world! You feel so removed from everything you know.
When you come out of the dense woods, you will see at least twenty cows on any given day. There are the oreo cows (with clear black/white/black coloring), cows with spots, and brown cows! Anyhow, I love saying hi to them, though I am perfectly aware they only come near me with the hopes that I will give them more hay…….
Went a little crazy with Instagram…. but look at this little guy! So precious! Speaking of cows, Middlebury sources our milk from Monument Dairy, which is literally less than 10 minutes away from campus. Happy Valley Orchard is also less than 15 minutes away and apple-picking is an amazing way to pass the time.
What I am so grateful for is that this “nature therapy” is very easily within reach. I just have to step outside of my room, with the right footgear of course. I usually spend an hour or so on these trails when I feel like getting some fresh air. Afterwards, I am so refreshed. My friend and I love puddle-jumping and mud-trailing, so we often go on walks together and end up having wonderful conversations.
When you come to Middlebury, please check out all the wonderful walkable destinations!
Till next time,