Yesterday I was in Rome for a wedding shower. In the past few weeks I have been anxious to leave the city limits and drive to some stark wilderness and just BREATHE. I have never lived in a city with this much hustle and bustle, and as much as I love the culture and busyness, I get weary of seeing buildings everywhere I look. I lived in one of the most beautiful places in the world for four years, and I think I am only now beginning to enjoy it. As an undergrad I was busy with schoolwork, volunteer work, and my student work positions. Going back to Berry meant that I had a to-do list to accomplish, and enjoying the campus became entangled in my student identity.

Now, I am able to return to the campus with a sense of escape. Driving around the 26,000 acre campus no longer causes me to ache with homesickness, rather, I am glad that I have someplace so beautiful to remember and enjoy. As we left, we looked up, and there were STARS. For four years, I had taken the stars above Rome for granted and now that I don’t see them anymore, they seem so vibrant.

I’m thinking today of how I can become more mindful, of how I can notice things like stars in my every day life. For Lent, or possibly before that, I plan to give up the time-waster that is Facebook. I find Facebook a valuable tool for connecting and activism, but it has occupied so much of my free time lately that I have begun to resent it. I hope to become more mindful as the winter turns into spring, to notice the blossoms on the trees and the blooming flowers. Mindfulness has become lost in my life experience… I am on a quest to discover it again.