Green (and Orange) Walks
Walking across campus is electric; people are in constant motion going to one activity or another, the buildings all hum with academic energy, and the sun radiates down on the whole scene. The constantly available stimulus of people and papers is enough to capture anyone’s attention for a lifetime. The last thing on anyone’s mind in a place as exciting as this is something I find quite extraordinary, and one of Vanderbilt’s most subtle benefits – nature.
Trees, shrubs, and flowers of all types populate the green spaces of Vanderbilt, of which there are plenty. The astounding array of plant-life (over 190 species of trees and shrubs!) has lead to Vanderbilt’s campus being (almost) nationally recognized as an Arboretum, or an area with an extensive variety of greenery. For this to take place on a university campus situated in an urban setting like Nashville is incredible to me because green spaces this diverse are incredibly rare in urban locations.
The flora is easy to recognize; a walk between buildings might include a broad, towering oak that envelops you in shade, beautiful purple wildflowers that greet you as you pass, layers of grasses and shrubs dotting the forest floor, or elegant pines that drift in the breeze. For all this beauty, it can be just as easy to ignore the green life, and walk to and fro worrying about classes, clubs, or activities. I’m guilty of this on a constant basis, and I think most are. But when I do remember to stop and take in all that is around me, the green smell of the trees, shrubs, and flowers combined with the luscious imagery is infectious to my well-being. So when you visit, take a moment to enjoy nature. Or take several hours. Your call.
A lush canopy surrounds
Soft grasses nip at my feet
Violet flowers dance around me
A bed of daisy’s sweet
Ivy grows green along
The walls of buildings as I pass
With all this commotion I hope
I will still make it to class