In the last month I have found myself staring—unembarrassed—at the extraordinary evolution of Autumn here on Geneseo campus. Autumn, for me, evokes feelings like those in one of my favorite readings from my nature writing class: Robin W. Kimmerer’s “Witness to the Rain” in her book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Kimmerer’s desire to linger in an environment that sings beauty and growth and inspiration is something I’m working towards. As a full-time student, lingering is a choice I have to make very deliberately and with discernment; however, as an enthusiast of all things Autumn, I find it easier to linger. Walking out the main door of my building, I am welcomed into a vibrant world of oranges, greens, reds, yellows, and purples. The vines on a building I pass have changed colors to resemble flames crawling along the outer wall. Cold wind and rain can’t stop this sickness-ridden college student from stopping in my tracks and smiling! I remember when I toured campus this past spring and how convinced I was that it was ugly. I visited in my least favorite season and it influenced my outlook; yet, now that I see this campus through a filter that I’m partial to, I can truly begin to recognize the beauty that was there all along. Perspectives are parts of my life, and probably most students’ lives, that tend to change in the season of college. A building that I wouldn’t typically observe, becomes the canvas for a blazing fire; and, a set of stairs that are quite unwelcoming in the morning, become a photograph of colors splashed across grey concrete.
Autumn at Geneseo, for me, has thus far been a time of refreshment.