on impulse, i decided to take a walk through the st. ben’s campus and the st. john’s campus tonight right around sunset. i brought along my camera in hopes of getting some good opportunities. i also wanted to bury my nose in some lilacs.
the two campuses bring me a sense of peace that i don’t find anywhere else (maybe that’s why i gravitate toward central mn) but in two very different ways. since i went to st. ben’s, the feeling i get walking through that campus is a peace related to a more uncomplicated and carefree time.
even with the new buildings and updates, it still brings a sense of, ok, this is where i was during a formative time. this is familiar. this is what i lived and breathed for four years. this was home for four years.
and st. ben’s is on the edge of st. joe, so there is a sense of civility to it – the noises from hwy 75, glimpses of cars driving past the main building. even though st. joe is only a few thousand strong, you still feel like you a part of a larger piece, something more modern, yet still holding onto tradition.
but when i step on the st. john’s campus, there’s a sense of wildness, woods, and looseness to the peace. a sense of peace you would only get by slipping into nature, whether it’s paddling one of the lakes, heading into the trees, or hiking along the trail to the chapel.
it wasn’t until i had graduated that i learned that st. john’s is not named after the apostle john, a more mystical creature. no, the campus is named after st. john the baptist, who lived in the desert and raved and ate grasshoppers. this changed my mindset about the campus completely.
while i never called st. john’s home, i did have many classes there. if given the choice between visiting st. ben’s or st. john’s, i choose st. john’s every time.
and since i’ve moved to avon, i’m 10 minutes from campus and gladly take the short jaunt to spend time in the woods, finding a piece of peace.