Today, I took a turn about the Sunken Garden, the large beautiful lawn in the middle of William & Mary’s old campus. It’s a habit I developed for when the rhythm of my day seems to be precariously tilting toward overwhelm. In those moments, I pull myself away from the inbox and take a lap.
The Sunken Garden was a place of adventure for me during undergrad. I’ve played a round of golf, gone to festivals, carnivals, and concerts, and jumped in hurricane mud puddles on the Sunken Garden, before marching past it on Commencement.
Now though, I find the Sunken Garden to be a place of calm. Much of my work is about moving William & Mary forward, and sometimes it can become easy to get caught up in the bustle of all those forward moving emails, tasks, meetings, and events. Sitting on the steps of the Sunken Garden and staring at the Wren Building reminds me that William & Mary persists through all of that bustle.
W&M’s immense history–I mean both in the big moments and the everyday of the past 322 years–reminds me I am part of something larger and something I love very much. This university in its immensity has meant and continues to mean so much to me and many others. I will continue being part of moving us forward, but in the moments when that process distracts me from the why of it all, I am glad to take a turn about the Sunken Garden and soak up the reminder that this place is home.