From the Desk of Claire O’Reilly, Life & Arts Editor

(SuDi Wang/Staff Illustrator)

Swirls of sherbet ice-cream colored clouds lazily glide over a baby-blue sky and the world seems to be basking in a warm, golden light. The lake is bathwater warm and completely still, reflecting the beauty above it.

I was recently asked to describe one of my favorite memories during an interview, and this image immediately entered my mind. I closed my eyes for a second, and it all came rushing back.

Surrounded by my fellow leader-in-training (LIT) friends, some I had known since I first went to camp at the age of 8, I sprinted to the bridge that connected the cabins to the waterfront. I can still hear the sound of the excess sand scratching the weathered wood as our flip-flops left each step. I can still smell the dampness of the cedar.

Once on the beach, our LIT directors began to pass out freeze pops. The air was thick and sticky and the condensation from the freeze pop seeped through my fist and down my forearm. The cold, sweetness of the cherry flavored ice was pure euphoria in the humidity.

Armed with our frozen treats, we were directed to get in the water. We raced down the docks and each slid into the lake. Treading water and avoiding the thick seaweed, I tried to focus on remembering every possible detail.

My inner thoughts were deepened once our directors asked us to be quiet and to think about all that camp had given to us and all that we had to to be thankful for.

That was a time where I completely relaxed, deeply thought about and truly absorbed every aspect of the present moment.

Lately, I couldn’t tell you the last time that I just stopped to give myself a break, relax and think about all the good things I have to be thankful for. I know I’m probably not alone in this.

As we get caught up in our schedules, it is easy to live in anxiety for the future rather than being open to experiencing where we are at in our lives now.

Trust me, I know.

Being editor of Life & Arts and president of Delta Phi Epsilon on top of my coursework, attempting to upkeep a social life and remembering to do laundry (all with graduation looming), I completely understand being overwhelmed.

But it is becoming more evident each time we awake to another tragedy on the news that we are never guaranteed the promise of the tomorrow we are so focused on worrying about. So many never get to wake up to that “tomorrow.” When I think back to that sunset swim in the lake, I am reminded of how important it is to take enough time to pause and be thankful.

Be thankful, be thankful, be thankful.

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