this evening i drove to st. john’s for a nighttime trail run, and i made my way down into the small valley where collegeville resides just as the sun was starting to dissipate into the horizon completely, casting a low shadow across the hills of trees. a few trees have already started to turn to autumn colors, but most still hold onto their green with starts of tingeing to yellow green, which will give way to complete yellow, red, brown, orange in the next month. seasons change, the sun tilts, whether or not i want it to give way to winter.
i remember the first time i realized that this was my space, the place i knew that i would probably like to be, for a while, at least. it was my first year at st. ben’s, and of course i had a couple classes at st. john’s and had to take the link (the bus) between the two campuses to get to class.
the ten minute ride on the bus went from st. joe onto hwy 75, which merged onto I-94, under the walking bridge, before taking the first exit and left onto the road that slipped into the woods to the st. john’s campus. most of the time, this was ideal time to catch up with a friend or classmate, or cram for a test, or finish your homework, or read a book. and it was a perfect time to stare out the window and watch the trees go by with a backpack on your lap and keeping worries at bay.
it was full fall. i was in the “stare out the window” mode, and when the link merged onto I-94, there was a sudden burst of color on the right as trees closed in on us, vibrant reds, punchy oranges, ethereal yellows going forever that beckoned one to walk in the woods and imagine a sense of weightlessness. i don’t know that i’ve had such a sense of groundedness in a place as i had at that moment.
i look forward to running through the woods in a few weeks when the leaves turn yellow. when fall comes, maybe you’ll go to the north shore; perhaps a trip through the minnesota river valley; or maybe a meander down the mississippi from hastings to winona. me? i’m content right where i am.