Wow, I truly can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by. Finally, though under a thick layer of mud and leaf litter, I can see green again at my spot, just like when I first met it. All over, ferns are unfolding from fiddleheads, trees are continuing to bud and grow leaves, and life continues to return to a place that felt so desolate for so long.
Upon returning back to my spot, I realized all at once that my first year is ending. My first year of college, passed and over in the blink of an eye. And in the time that I’ve been here, I’ve watch a tree die and break its trunk completely, letting small critters and creatures find a home and food in it; I’ve watched a life end and create another. Simultaneously, I feel as though I’ve been here for a minute and a lifetime, and I think that a lot of that is tied to my place in the woods.
To me, this last visit hit home as one of the important “last”s. Sitting alone under my tree has felt like a safe place during the hard times this year, and in visiting it one last time (for now), I sat back and thought of all I’ve been through, both incredible new adventures and firsts as well as harder times and moments of stress. At the end of the day, my place was always somewhere that I could go and turn all of the attention away from the world around me and back onto myself, to take a moment to breathe, relax, and enjoy being who I was and where I was for that time.
I think that being a part of place means that you’ve gotten to know the small corners of it all, have memories in them, and can consequently feel like you belong. Going to my place one last time yesterday, I truly felt like I belonged, in this major and this university and this city, and especially in the woods.