Last Thursday was the first official class of Earth Lodge. I was very confused about what we were going to do in class at first since we don’t have a textbook for this course. But I quickly forgot about my doubts once Dr. Lookingbill announced a field trip to the Gambles Mill Trail.
The Gambles Mill Trail is probably one of the most neglected parts of the University of Richmond. It connects the University of Richmond to the intersection of Huguenot and River Road, the River and many restaurants and fancy stores close the University of Richmond. That was pretty much all I knew about the trail before I set my foot on it. I was very excited to be out of the classroom after a stressful day of 4 classes and filling out nerve racking finance internship applications. I hurried down the trail to see how long it would take to get to the intersection, hoping to watch the cars pass me by and maybe grab some Starbucks coffee. However, when I finally made it to end of the trail, I realized all the earth lodgers are no longer behind me and I’m standing at a busy intersection alone. I remembered our assignment was to observe the nature of the trail. I stood there, amazed at how I did not notice the nature around me at all. A few years ago, I was obsessed with nature and would spend hours outside. I was proud that I wanted to be environmental engineer and list my assistant park ranger job at the very top of my resume. Now all I have on my resume is a highlighted number that doesn’t really mean anything; and I can think about is the reasons I want to intern for Goldman Sachs and random math equations that I would probably never use the after I graduate college. I decided to turn around, but this time I wanted to leave all my stress behind and explore nature with the lovely earth lodgers. Nature was beautiful: I noticed the fresh smell of the grass after rain, the steam flowing beneath the layer of branches, and the birds singing in the tress on the top of their lungs. I walked into a cage-shaped space made up of tree branches and enjoyed the sunlight peeking through the branches. I did not want to leave the trail at the end of class. I remember why I loved nature so much; it helps me forget about my stress and every once in a while, it reminds me of what I’m missing in my life.
Mark getting out of the tree cage. 🙂