Saturday morning I drove out to Amicalola Falls in Northern GA. I left Atlanta at 6:30 am to beat the traffic. Driving on the country roads reminded me of North Carolina. They were like the roads that I drove on to get to Maple view or the pumpkin patch farms. The trails around Amicalola reminded me of the forests in NC. It reminded me of my trip with Ang to Chimney Rock and Asheville. It reminded me of the Duke Forest trails. Where NC 751 cuts through the forest. It reminded me how in the fall, the leaves would coat the ground in a layer of crinkly loveliness that glinted under the afternoon sun. It reminded me of the countless runs I ran after taking tests or after doing problem sets all morning and afternoon. Oh, the wonderful influx and rush of air. It’s sharp. It’s fresh. This is what it’s like to breathe. While at Amicalola, I felt jealous of Duke students and how lucky they are to have the Duke forest in their backyard. Of how they have access to those wonderful trails in 10 minutes by running while here, it takes 1.5 hours of driving.
I drove out to Cochran Shoals, a state park bordering the Chattahoochee River, on Sunday morning. I got to the parking lot at 7:10 am and snagged one of the last parking spots. there were tons of trail runners and cyclists. The temperature had cooled down, but a mile into the run and I was hot and sticky and drenched in sweat. Although the humidity was still miserable, the temperature was (ever so) slightly cooler–I could almost imagine the crispness in the air. My thoughts drifted to apple cider and cinnamon and pumpkin spice. It drifted to cold, gray mornings in Paris that were nevertheless magical because the gray was punctuated by glimmering golden orbs of light glowing from cafes and apartments and tree branches. My mind drifted to the colorful lights swimming in the water around the Montreux Christmas Market. To memories of bundling up under sweaters and scarves and gloves, ready to brace the sharpness of the air, but feeling warm and happy from the lights, window displays, colorful candies, hot fondue, and roasting chestnuts. It drifted to the beautiful red, orange, and yellow foliage and to a feeling of rejuvenation. More thoughts on fall are sure to come.
I’m taking an 11 week meditation course called Cognitively-based Compassion Training (CBCT). This week (wk 2) we focused on attentional-stability. We meditated for 10 minutes, focusing our attention on our breaths. We also thought about a moment in our lives when we felt cared for and meditated on that feeling.
Hey y’all. I’m in a completely different mental place compared to 1.5-2 weeks ago. Last week, my college roommate got engaged!!! I am thrilled for her!
It’s funny how time goes by. Well, not funny. Just interesting. Time is like an open faucet, constantly flowing. This past week, I was sitting outside the med school eating lunch and saw some undergraduates moving in. It reminded me of when Michelle moved into Emory in 2008. The excitement. It reminded me of when I moved into Duke. Whilst studying in the library, I saw tour groups of new students. It reminded me of the tours I took at Duke as a new freshman. It reminded me of my past fear of getting lost at Duke. This past week, Snowlle got engaged. I’m so, incredibly happy for her. I did not expect that she would be the first of our friend group to get married. She didn’t either. Life moves on and flows in unexpected ways. From fears of finding the right building and classroom to finding life partners and just finding life paths. My heart fills with joy and love for the happy, newly engaged couple. It’s interesting how time goes by. The phone call from Noelle reminded me of the key to life. Take time from your own to-do list, full of your own ambitions, and connect with people so you don’t lose the moment because time doesn’t stop. We can lose everything–the meaning of life–in an instant by putting ourselves first.
So that’s what this weekend was all about: connecting–with friends old and new. Ang came in on Thursday. Friday night, Ang, Kay (her BA buddy), and I went out to Miller Union. It’s an upscale southern cuisine restaurant and it’s delicious. Favorite dish was an egg baked in cauliflower sauce paired with toasted bread. After, Ang and I went to Cecily’s to celebrate Cecily’s birthday. It was a small group of med students and we played Taboo and Anomia. Love board game nights. Saturday morning, I ran in Dr. Flowers’s Spirit Foundation 5K. Ang and I hit up my yoga studio for vinyasa yoga before getting Thai with Lindsay. We briefly went to Ormsby’s for Ana’s birthday before moving on to a Mck person’s going-away party. I got to reconnect with Justin from HS and Justin from Duke. Sunday, we went out for juice, acai bowls, and ginger shots (was NOT a fan of these…). (Ang is now a juice queen!) We hit up Ponce City Market. In the evening, my small group and I went to a Zombie escape room in Atlanta, which was heaps of fun.
Overall a superb weekend. I’ve so enjoyed having Ang over on the weekends. Even just sitting and talking in the living room is a blast and we laugh until our stomachs hurt. This is what life is about. Connections and laughter and smiles and sometimes tears. But mostly laugher and smiles. Hope everyone had a rejuvenating weekend and has a productive week ahead.
Pardon me as I try to work through some thoughts. I am on a travel hiatus for the foreseeable future. My heart ached as I typed that sentence out. As if writing it down somehow made it more true, more tangible, more real than reality. I miss the mountains–the fresh air, the sunsets and sunrises, the horizons. I miss the delight of being on my feet for 12 hours a day hiking up and down trails. Of earning an expansive view of miles of nature in all directions. Yes, I even miss the difficult parts, like ice on the trails and achy feet.
NYC was a whirlwind of reunions! I’m feeling refreshed and full of joy as I enjoy my last week at home.
I got in Friday afternoon and made my way to Hersh’s apartment in Chelsea where I dropped off my stuff. I met Ang and we made our way to the High Line. After, we went to the Chobani store for yogurt. Not quite as good as The Yogurt Shop in Copenhagen, but still delish. We met Hersh for dinner (Italian food was soooo good) before Ang went back uptown and Hersh and I went the Chelsea Pier driving range. Y’all, everything in NY is open super late. Like who plays golf until midnight?? Apparently New Yorkers.
Guess what!? One of the Swiss Misses became a Mrs. this past weekend! My heart fills with joy that I got to celebrate Char and Emil on their wedding day!
Party till the cows come home
On Saturday, I met Emily and Nick at the hotel. After checking in, we went to CREAM, which is a delicious little spot that makes ice cream sandwiches. Yum! After getting ready, we took Em and Nick’s little red Fiat (SO Euro) rental car to the wedding. The venue was absolutely gorgeous. I particularly loved their table seating chart, which was a map of the world with tables labeled as different cities/countries. Each table featured a picture of the lovely bride and groom in that city/country.