You know how it is on the night before school starts. I could barely sleep due to the excitement of returning to the Wellesley College campus for the first time in a year and a half, so woke up early ready to go.
My well-worn Wellesley College cap, courtesy of an exuberant Scream Tunnel participant thrown to me during a Boston Marathon long ago. I figured wearing this might ward off any hairy eyeballs from those on campus who hadn’t yet heard the news that the public was allowed back on certain parts of campus today.
I’m only taking 1 course this semester to start. I picked 1 that ran from the woods along Lake Waban on the allowed side of the Hunnewell border and then past the Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center, Davis Museum, Paramecium Pond, and out to Rte. 16 to head home.
Room & Board? Check.
I’m staying off-campus at our Wellesley home and grabbed a just-ripe pear available from our meal plan (aka, fridge) before heading out, a Wellesley-esque Mitski album queued up in my airpods.
Back on campus
I slipped onto the Lake Waban path from my usual spot, immediately challenging myself not to stumble over leaf-covered roots and stones during my run. I’m proud to say I came darn close to staying on my feet the whole time.
Given that I was zipping across campus not too long after sunrise, I only ran into one other person on the path, a fellow runner who looked to be past college age, too. Though swans kept me company along the shore.
I only ran across 1 early rising student on campus, and I gave an extra wide berth to help ease us both back into this co-existence.
The outdoors campus activity at that time of the day mainly belonged to construction workers and lawn maintenance crews moving leaves around.
A neighbor who ventured onto campus a bit later conveyed that he and his wife “were warmly greeted by a student, a cop and a faculty nanny. Of course we were accompanied by a fuzzy brown dog.”
It felt great to be back. I even appreciated seeing that inexplicable public art in the woods along along the shore.
I still like the shiny one deeper into campus better though.
I didn’t remember ever seeing this one, tucked along a path near the Wang Center.
I recall the last time I ran at the college, on the track that shortly thereafter became off limits, as it remains. I was the only one there, running near dusk before the public ban took effect. Though a college cop car idling in the lot above had me nervous that that could be my last run there for a while, as the COVID-19 pandemic just started to rear its head in March of 2020.
It felt good seeing old friends, including the boardwalk and 9 3/4 marking, an ode to Harry Potter.
— swellesley (@swellesley) November 16, 2021
I noticed what were maybe new or updated signs, too, including an emphasis on “Health.” The college has been closed to the public in the name of protecting students and staff.
The earlier Campus is Closed signs had been updated by the college’s crack facilities staff.
I abided by the rules but tried not to dwell on the excess signage.
There was plenty else to see and enjoy with fresh eyes.
Wellesley College alum Suzy Littlefield share this photo of her (yes, leashed) dog Archie, who joined her for a sunset walk at the Lake on reopening day.