I have always wanted to be someone who felt confident in the woods. I’ve long admired those who can pick up a rock or look up at a tree and know exactly and immediately what they were looking at and what it took for that thing to get there. Having spent my whole life in a New York suburb, I never had much access to any natural spaces besides a few landscaped parks. Plus I suppose I never tried especially hard to find anything more. Part of that came from the way I perceive people who “get” the outdoors. These are the people that have all the name brand gear, the camping stories, the ability to namedrop every state park within a 100 mile radius, and were born hiking the side of a mountain. Intimidating stuff.
Not until coming to college could my connection with nature really blossom, so to speak. One of the spots that is most meaningful to that connection is the Meadows. Weaving in and out of scattered pine trees, my steps squishing around in the soggy needle-covered ground, I feel nostalgic for the bonfires and picnics and stargazing that has happened in the Meadows. Confusion, laughter, tears, wonder, butterflies in your stomach, and serenity all happen in the Meadows. Recklessness happens in the Meadows.
Coming here to be critical and analytical feels wrong in a way. It feels like I am going into someone’s home and talking about how ugly their furniture is. Still, I wanted to choose a place for my Habitation Journal that I already knew at least a little bit and that was actually going to be accessible for me on a regular basis. And now standing inside a little cluster of pines, I remember exactly why I had the feeling to come here. On top of all the other emotions of the Meadows, this place has a mysterious energy. There seems to always be fog in the Meadows. A lingering feeling that there’s something there that you can’t possibly see. Yeah, I do happen to believe in spirits or ghosts or whatever you want to call it, but it doesn’t exactly feel ghostly in the Meadows. I can’t say I really know how to describe what it feels like. Maybe in my research of what the area once was I’ll discover some sort of ancient burial ground or haunting story of some evil pine tree nymphs. Who knows? But, either way, I like that it’s a feeling that is completely unique to the Meadows.
I’m hoping that the future of these blog posts are a little less of me just rambling about vague memories and alluding to odd times and more of an investigative take on this very special space, but I don’t think I can commit to making that promise right now. Working on it.