21 Oct
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College: Being Thankful for That Place

Fall colors on the campus of University of Wyoming

We spent Saturday at our Alma Mater taking in this year’s homecoming festivities. We live close enough to visit several times a year for sporting events, but this visit was different.

This was the first time in over a decade I walked across campus alone. I offered to walk back to where we had parked our vehicle and move it closer to the football stadium.

I started out walking briskly against the crowd heading to the stadium. My pace slowed the farther from the stadium I moved and the closer I walked to the center of campus. The sun was bright and a breeze was rustling yellowed leaves in the branches overhead while my feet crunched the fallen leaves on the sidewalk. I couldn’t help think about what that place meant to me and the lasting ripples paths crossed there have on my present life.

closeup of black-eyed Susan flower

I stopped and stared at a side door in the Student Union that led to a staircase I climbed countless times on my way to Student Publications. I was blessed to know and work with a diverse group of intelligent, talented people in that office. I would meet the man I would marry in that office. The news of the critical event that changed the future course of my career and ultimately led to me opting to stay home with our children, happened in that building. That office. That building. That place. I’m grateful for the yes I gave to that university not truly understanding what impact those years would have.

Fall colors in front of University of Wyoming A&S College

My course veered through the pasture that sits surrounded by college buildings housing classrooms I spent hours of my early 20s sitting in. I walked on sidewalks I spent days, weeks, months and years walking across as I pursued by degree and ultimately a better understanding of who I was. That place, the people I met there, the circumstances I lived in and through, all brought me to the place I am now.

fall colors on the campus of University of Wyoming

It wasn’t my first choice (or second choice) for the place I wanted to spend my college years. It happened to be the best choice in a plan I can’t see. I’m grateful for what I have now and for who I am now that is so closely intertwined to that place I called home for four years almost 15 years ago. Life moved so quickly since college graduation that I really never took a moment to truly be grateful for that place and the role it played.

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