At Groton, we have become accustomed to a lifestyle filled with commitments and tasks, and the opportunity to sit back and relax is something that occurs only rarely. This weekend however, I had the chance to do just that as we were graced with our first three-day weekend of the year: Long Weekend. After finishing up my school commitments late Thursday night and attending the last of my classes on Friday, I made the three-hour trip up north to my home town of Cornwall, Vermont.
Upon arriving, I was greeted with a fantastic display of fall foliage. Burnt orange, sunset yellow, and brick red leaves enlightened us as we cruised through the scenic countryside. Apples had grown on the picturesque trees and multiple wild rabbits hopped out of the way as we drove into our driveway. Our American flag ruffled slowly in the mid-October wind and leaves drifted leisurely downward, only coming to rest once they hit our cold, hard lawn. This breathtaking environment conveyed a sense of serenity, contrasting sharply with the previous month of hard work. Here was a chance to sit back, take some time to reflect, and unravel with friends and family.
The weekend was spent reconnecting with friends I had not seen since the summer, and together we laughed as we recounted unforgettable stories and memories from the many hours we had spent together. In the presence of these friends, great moments seemed to flow back to me, and I was reminded of all the good times in their presence. First came the recollection of our trip to Bolton Mountain and the fun that came with lapping a small, less than technical, trail for four straight hours in subzero temperatures. Next I recalled an occasion at the end of August when six of us spent over an hour attempting to locate a bowling alley that we had all been to countless times. Finally, we were reminded of the many hours we had spent longboarding around the Middlebury College campus. I could almost feel the scraped knees and pain from our countless accidents. Emotions and feelings that I had thought were long gone and could be found only in those precious moments returned, evoked by the powerful tales that my friends and I uttered. It seemed as if I had been transported back to those fateful days, and I couldn’t help but laugh until my stomach ached and an irresistible smile crept across my face.
As I drove back to campus rejuvenated and prepared to tackle whatever Groton would throw at me, I couldn’t help but reflect on the past weekend. Times like these help me to remain connected with those who I have grown so incredibly close with in my eight years living in Vermont, and I am grateful for the time that I spend in the rural town that I call home. While the state may not be considered a hotspot for many things, it is certainly blessed with immense natural beauty and has no absence of genuine, caring individuals. I know my Vermont Spirit will continue to bless me and will burn brightly as I continue to tackle the challenges that Groton presents.