After taking a stroll around campus and exploring the University of Richmond’s watershed with the class, we were released into the wild (behind the baseball fields) to venture in accordance with our impulses and desires. The majority of us took to walking parallel to the creek we had yet to see. In groups, we chatted and joked. Laughed and skipped. Some focusing more than others. I must say, as I was walking, nothing in particular came to mind outside of my direct observations of the obvious dampness, and the beautiful winter colors—brown, grey, with the pine needles holding on and showing their much welcomed green. It wasn’t until… maybe an hour before I posted this that something popped out at me. Whether it is backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing, or simply walking to class, I’ve realized that I consciously choose the path of least resistance. On the day of the walk in particular, it happened to be down the trail, along the running creek, around the baseball contraption, and past the mounds of rocks and soil the university seemed to have dumped out of sight. All of it interesting in its own way and foreign to my eyes.
I realized that it was my conscious decisions that led to my never having seen this tiny nook of campus. I then had a flashback to when I was studying abroad in Germany. Any time I would go places with my host-brother, we would take a different route until all possible routes were exhausted between point A and B. Even after we thought we had found all of the possible routes, we would search and search, down every dark alley and one-way road until something different was found. After leaving his company, I tried to keep up his lesson of constant exploration only to realize that when I’m on campus, in the same way water flows from high ground to low, my path tends to be from Gottwald to my bed.
Maybe it’s outside the scope of these blog entries, but I would like to ask everyone reading to choose a different path. Stop going the same old way just to get from one point to another. Seek adventure on this tiny little campus. Leave five minutes early to walk around the lake or through the woods. Seek something new.