This is my favorite time on campus.
The students are still gone,
enjoying the last few days of vacation.
Gathering strength through home-cooked meals
and time spent with friends and family,
they fill their souls with new stories, cherished memories and smiles,
enough to propel them into the new semester with a renewed sense of purpose.
Some students remain.
For them, home is too far away, or maybe isn't really a home.
Maybe there is a job, or another commitment, or no real reason to leave.
I hope this time gives them what they need in whatever form it might come.
It's so peaceful right now
in this empty or nearly-so campus.
As I leave the building with the sun long-since set,
A light dusting of snow has coated everything.
Settling in on trees and bushes, buildings and statues,
and gardens long since surrendered to their winter sleep.
In this still, sacred moment,
This parenthesis of time,
before everything begins again,
before the runners take their mark,
before the next downbeat,
I stand for a moment in the stillness of a cold January evening
marveling at the magnificence of this silent, unassuming beauty
and cherishing every second.