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Archive for November, 2017

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Crim Dell Bridge – The College of William and Mary

It was going to be a long and awful drive home from a South Carolina Thanksgiving. The weekend traffic was just going to make me cranky, and since I had an extra travel day, we decided to spend an extra night in Williamsburg, Va, and then take the back roads home. “Back roads” perhaps being a misnomer, since that also involved the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and the Cape May Ferry.

But anyway, we were in Williamsburg. After the obligatory visit to Duke of Gloucester Street and a Cheese Shoppe sandwich, we took the dogs on a long ramble through the campus of William and Mary – from which I graduated in 1983. While there have been many changes on campus in the last 34 (!) years, many parts of campus looked unchanged. There were still the quiet pathways through the woods, coming upon unexpected statuary nestled in a clearing, and the feeling that the modern world is a more distant place.

I don’t remember much about my college years. And not because I was partying (though in those days, the drinking age was 18), but more because I spent most of that time looking ahead to when I would be finished. I did not make lifelong friends, and I do not eagerly return for reunions. My memories are quieter and more fleeting. I remember the feeling of early hours practicing in the music building, or of arguing with my government professor about my grade (he won). I remember the enormous roaches in my freshman dorm, and my relief when I was able to move to a boarding house as a sophomore. I remember my first apartment, and how dangerously close it was to the best deli in town. I remember long conversations with the Episcopal chaplain about whether I was called to the priesthood, and long conversations with the Catholic chaplain about whether I was called to the convent. But most of all, I remember planning what I would do when I left, and wondering where life would lead.

I’m sorry about that now. If I could go back and talk to 18-year-old me, I would tell her to be present to the now – to the people and things that were happening all around me. And so these days, that’s what I remind 56-year-old me. That someday, I will look back on these years – and I want my memories to be more vivid. I want the connections that I’ve forged to last, and to grow deeper. I want to remember a normal day like today. When I sit at my desk, listen to the wind chimes, and know that I have a rare evening off. And spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. And the time and grace to sit and type all of this out … and remember.

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