Sensory Exploration

Shuffle shuffle fwoomp, ugh, sweater hair, straighten. Slip tie, slip tie, up we go. Shrug shr-, oh drat arm’s stuck; I’ll have to repair that sleeve hole, -ug, straighten, slip button slip button. Hoist, grunt, mmf, shift, check jacket collar, earbuds in, pull the handle, step, step, Step…
Stairs!
Step…
Step…
Push, check reflection in windows, push, step step and
Woah.

It’s overpowering. Crisp air, gray sky, fresh leaves, slight breeze, chilly fingers, stinging eyes.

It’s autumn.

If you ask me what my favorite smell is I wouldn’t be able to give you a direct answer. I would debate and question myself indeterminately for hours and it would still be tied between woodsmoke, old books, freshly fallen leaves, and sautéed onions.

More leavesRight now two out of four infiltrate my nostrils as I walk to classes and a third will be served with tonight’s dinner. As I sit writing this at my dining room table, steam rises from the air vent outside, hits my window, and makes visible waves of moisture, reminding me of Jack Frost’s fingers on a snowy window pane. It’s getting me excited for November.

I can’t wait for the crunch of leaves underfoot, the wooly happiness of snuggling into a scarf, the smell of hot apple cider, the

Oh. Wait. Cider.

Just thinking of it makes my mouth water and transports me back to second grade, staring at the giant wall of trees in the state park at home. My Girl Scout troop is tramping through the dew covered leaves, wiping away at bleary Saturday morning eyes and hungrily looking ahead to the trail-mix in our leader’s backpack. Orienteering always meant an energy-zapping morning followed by hot cider stored in thermoses, PB&J sandwiches, and the previously mentioned trail mix. I’m pretty sure there was an early bedtime when I got home.

But that cider.

Sweet, spiced, and simple, the piping hot drink will always make me happy, no matter how busy or stressed I am.

I usually don’t get homesick, but right now I have to admit that I kind of miss the fall rituals from home. Even though I’ve outgrown some of them, it’s still nice to look back and bask in the memory of reading Harry Potter with my dad after a bike ride on the canal path, or frantically looking for a tissue after coming inside from raking leaves in the chilly October air.

Postcard1Postcard2Postcard3

Yeah, I’m definitely missing the pumpkin carving and corn mazes right now.

If I’m this psyched over fall, I hate to think about how I’ll be come December.

Don’t get me started on freshly chopped pine trees.

Here Comes The Sun

This is going to sound ridiculous, especially coming from a college student, but it’s one of those things that will stay with you for a while (I can’t guarantee forever).

Wake up with the sun and walk around campus.

Bring an apple. Wear a jacket. Put on some shades (especially if you’re walking from Campion/Newman, you’ll be heading directly east). Listen to morning music (Fleet Foxes and Simon & Garfunkel are my preference).

I know what you’re thinking. What sane twenty-something gets up early to take a walk?

Confession: it wasn’t by choice that I discovered the calmness of campus at 7:30 AM.
I’m taking a life drawing class this semester which requires a lot of work: every week for homework we cover a new body part or bone structure and have reading assignments (open discussion during breaks in class), along with working from a model during the weekly class time. This week I had to draw the ribcage and pelvis from the front and side, so I got up super early to work in studio.

Last semester I had gotten up early for 8ams, but other people were walking around so the campus was populated, but very sleepy looking.

On the weekend though? Empty. Dead silent. Peaceful. Beautiful. Bright. Content.
It’s kind of rare to see Loyola like that, so empty yet so alive at the same time. The sun washes everything with a bright, golden light that practically makes the building glow. If you’re lucky, you’ll see some trees changing color.

The sunrise is so obvious but so often overlooked.

I’m asking a lot, I know. I really didn’t want to get up early (or at all) this weekend, but homework had to be done. I hear your groans and imagine your hands thrown up in disgust at the notion of rolling out of bed before noon on a Saturday.

But you should still do it. At least once.

So take a bite out of that apple, adjust your sunglasses, straighten your jacket, walk to the beat of your favorite band and soak up the morning sun.

Then take a nap in the afternoon.