“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.”
– Max Ehrmann, Desiderata
To go placidly amid the noise and haste – this is the chief end of a college student, isn’t it? To find pockets of peace in the craziness of a demanding schedule, to find some stillness in the movement of the calendar.
One of my favorite parts of Messiah is its ability to cater to this need, providing dozens of places perfect for recharging and re-establishing the connections between mind, body, and emotion. One of the best places to go for this reconnection is the outdoors, whether it be the Breeches or the Back 40, but beyond these often crowded spaces, there are hidden gems all over campus – places to go that provide peace without sacrificing solidarity.
The first spot I discovered was one that may not be unfamiliar to some of you. Behind Mellinger, up toward the Back 40, there is a road that continues all the way until it reaches a bridge. The bridge hovers over the Breeches similar to the swinging bridge or the red covered bridge. However, this one is much quieter, much easier to stargaze from and much cooler (mainly because you have to trek to find it – it at least makes me feel adventurous).
If you choose to visit this spot, my recommendation to you is that you do not take any homework with you. Use the time to connect with whatever you choose: God, yourself, nature. Listen to the water, the birds, and the cicadas. We have a tendency to consistently overwhelm our minds, never giving them the chance to rest without distraction. I for one am guilty of this – anyone else need to put a show or music on in order to get anything done? I’ve found whenever I feel burnt out, it’s because I’m overloading my brain with information. It helps to declutter, to take out all the distractions, in order to recharge – to find the peace in silence, to intentionally go placidly amid the noise and haste.
“Amid the Noise and Haste” is a column dedicated to re-centering, to re-focusing, on stillness and appreciation for nature during the craziness of the school year. Written by Emma Bane, this column will highlight a wide range of spots on and off campus that are perfectly suited to serenity and intentionality; places to go to think, read, paint, talk, or simply enjoy the beauty of nature. It aims to explore the wide variety of hidden gems found on Messiah’s campus and foster an environment of peace.