A Private Oasis

Patrick - Collegeville, Minnesota
Entered on September 11, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

As fall draws near on a Minnesota college campus, the grounds are alive as students arrive back and ready to start a new year. Activity is at an all time high as everything from parties to pickup football games spring up all across school. It is on these first beautiful days that you will find me, alone, taking a long walk out into the forest on the edge of campus with nothing but a fishing pole and endless thoughts racing through my head.

I believe in taking time to myself.

Sunlight shines in sifted streaks through the canopy of oak and elm leaves as I sneak through a lakeshore deer trail. Luck is with me as I happen upon a shaded clearing encased in the needled veil of a giant pine. The limbs stretch around the trunk in perfectly straight spokes that beg irresistibly to be climbed. Reclining on one of lower branches, I stay quiet knowing even the sound of my voice would poison the moment with its unneeded noise. In this private oasis, the gentle hum of a cricket choir together with my heartbeat lulls me into complete relaxation. There is nothing more incomprehensibly amazing than finding myself in a place where everything is completely still.

Sitting in the woody retreat my mind wanders over everything from politics to romance, from class schedules to what actually happened at the party last night? When I’m removed from the world I have the time to sit and contemplate anything, everything, and nothing all at once. Centering myself on the ambiance of hums and heart I am entirely in my own world. Then the sudden splash of a hungry, and now triumphant, bass violently snaps me back to reality. I turn the cell phone back on, check the time, and make my way back to civilization.

In today’s world where cell phones and computers have practically wiped out ever being truly cut off from others, I believe it is more important than ever to put these things aside and take sometime, anytime, to be alone. Silence and solitude may sound negative, but if you really think about it, when was the last time you simply laid on the grass alone for fifteen minutes and just did nothing?