When Mari was a little treeling, she was added to the Dickinson College community. Her arborist planted her in the ground next to the Trellis where she would grow and watch Dickinson grow for the past ten years and into the future. During my time with Mariposa, she’s told me a lot about her life and the life of the college during her lifetime.
In the spring of 2005, Mari was planted near the Quarry which had recently been transformed from a fraternity house into another dining option. She watched as students were able to put in their opinions on how to make the Quarry better and Dining Services continued to build and improve the new coffee and sandwich shop.
That May, Mari witnessed her first commencement. She could only see parts of it since Old West blocks part of her view, but she was amazed by all the people out on the Academic Quad. The following week, though, campus was quiet and remained that way until mid-August. Soon, students came back and Mari felt excited for the new year. She watched Convocation during the last weekend of August and was enamored with all the new faces. She realized it would be the first class she would see all the way through their four years at Dickinson, and that thought excited her.
Time passed and Mari grew bigger and bigger. Every spring, students would marvel over her beautiful yellow blossoms, and Mari would bask in the attention. Summers became her least favorite times because all of the students were gone. Every May Mariposa watched another class graduate and leave Dickinson behind, and every August she would watch another class come in, full of bright eyes and eager minds ready to learn. Sometimes Mari wished she could leave Dickinson as the seniors did and be able to experience the world, but often the dewy eyed first years would bring her love of Dickinson back and she was elated to meet the new students.
In August 2013, I arrived as one of those dewy eyed freshmen. I didn’t walk past Mari very often as my classes weren’t near her, and I lived on Morgan Field. Even when I did walk past her, I didn’t really notice her, and she didn’t really notice me. It really wasn’t until we were formally introduced a few weeks ago that we really began to notice each other. Now every time I’m in the area, I make a point to walk by and say hello, which always makes her day. She told me I’m one of the first people in her ten years that has really made a point of being friends with her, and even after she watches me graduate in 2017, she’ll always remember our friendship and tell her new friends about me when they ask about her history.
Mari at ten years old, standing tall and proud next to the Trellis