Stout Fire Pit: Student Reflection 1

“Last Sunday evening Abby organized an evening camping out near the Stout bonfire pit. I was excited in the week leading up to it as I hadn’t slept outside in months. On the day of though, I was incredibly stressed out and worried that I wouldn’t be able to get all of my work done as well as make it down to the bonfire by a reasonable hour. Eventually it all worked out and I arrived at the fire.  Once I’d settled in around the fire and I began to relax a bit, my sense of place became somewhat distorted.  While I still knew where campus was, and how close it was, it seemed infinitely further away than it had been just a few minutes prior.  It came to mind that we had found ourselves in a little bubble, a bubble within the Earlham bubble, so to speak. It was a pleasant experience, gaining some separation from a place that can become all encompassing.  Exhausted from the day, I ate a few s’mores, and went to sleep.  Waking up outside, whether in a tent or simply under the stars, is a decidedly peculiar experience.  After the initial “where am I? Why isn’t this my bed?” comes a moment of pure peace.  Generally, I have a terrible predilection for hitting snooze in the morning – often I’m late for class or end up skipping breakfast out of desperation for ‘just a few more minutes’.  Out of doors though, this is never the case.  The day begins. Sleep walks to calm which ambles to wakefulness. This moment of peace at the start of the day cast everything that followed in a better light.  I was certainly less stressed out.  Despite the chilly temperature the night before, I found myself thinking numerous times that I wished I had been spending my Sunday nights outside all semester.”

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