October 15, 2015: 8:30 am.
It is a cool morning as I sit on the rock next to Mariposa. Her leaves are still damp from the morning dew, and the sun is just beginning to warm the earth. A few students run by, almost late to their first class of the day. They glance at me sitting with Mari, a confused expressions on their faces, but they don’t have time to ask. I realize I’ve noticed many confused expressions as people pass by me whenever I sit with Mari. “The Trellis is over there,” their expressions say. “Why are you sitting on a rock?” I suppose unless you’re taking some kind of environmental class, you don’t really spend time just sitting with nature or really recognizing its beauty. I just smile as people walk by.
The rock that I sit on next to Mariposa
I check my watch. 8:40 am. How the time passes so quickly as I just sit and think! I get up from my rock and stretch my limbs. I walk around Mari, looking at all of her leaves and her lopsided shape. What makes a tree grow lopsided? I wonder. She is uneven in size, full in some places and bare in others. I wonder if she’ll grow to be fuller once she is mature. I make a mental note to keep an eye on her next year, too. As I’m walking around her, I notice a plaque. How had I never seen this before! I take a closer look.
“In loving memory of
Gretchen L. Franck ’98
‘When you get the choice… I hope you dance’
I wonder who she is and why Mari is dedicated to her. I make another mental note to look her up in the archives and ask my friend who’s in Theta.
Mari’s lopsidedness; the plaque beneath her
A chipmunk passes by. His cheeks are full of nuts, and I assume he’s running to bury them for the winter. At that moment, a cool wind blows through my hair. I shiver as it’s still slightly wet from my shower this morning.
8:48 am. I check my watch and note I have 12 more minutes until I have to meet my friend for breakfast. I sit back down on my rock and continue my observations.
People chatter over on the Trellis as they eat breakfast from the Quarry. Birds chatter on the telephone lines as they prepare for flight. A car or two passes by, but there’s not too much traffic at this time, at least not on West Louther. The clouds are moving quickly throughout the sky, and the sun is finally reaching my skin, warming me and my damp hair. A few more people walk by, but no one I know or even recognize. The birds fly away, staying together, but each flying his own path.
Another breeze comes by, but this one isn’t as cool, especially with the warmth of the sun. A couple of squirrels run up the trunk of a tree close to Mari, playing, fighting, running up and down. I laugh because they remind me of my brothers, always bothering each other. I check my watch. 8:58 am. I pack up my things and stand up from my rock again, stretching. I see people leaving the Quarry with their coffees and their muffins. I start walking their way to meet my friend where they just left. As I’m walking over, I turn back to look at Mari, standing lopsided, yet tall and proud. “See you tomorrow,” I think to her. The wind catches her leaves, waving goodbye.