Spring stirs the wanderlust that has settled to the bottoms of our hibernating souls. The first rays of spring sunlight filter into our musty souls, and the urge to explore presses upon us.
Wrapped in flannels, Bon Iver anthems humming in headphones, students take to the streets. Then, the wanderer’s heart sighs. “Where in this flat, brown, desolate land, will my roaming soul be satisfied?” it laments. Adventure is found in the most unassuming places. It only takes a willing heart to find them.
Grab your Vans, grab your Penny board, and take a walk.
1. A concrete cinder block covered in bright paint at the Field of Dreams on the edge of town, past Pizza and Barbeque, should be the starting point of the journey. Open fields and art in the bathroom: it is quaint, artistic. Calming.
2. Across from the Field of Dreams, a remnant of a Midwest ghost town shivers and shakes in the wind. The dated air conditioning units, exposed plywood, and rusted metal sides make the whistling wind especially haunting.
3. Let your wandering sneakers tread their way to the train tracks for true industrial inspiration. Obviously, the best idea is to stand dramatically in the middle of the tracks and ponder the human existence.
4. The train station and surrounding buildings offer the inquiring soul plenty of opportunity for exploration. The architecture of the station is intricate and time-worn. Dust from your scuffed steps stings your eyes, and the sun-baked bricks smell earthy.
5. Meander, restless heart, among the rocks in the rubble on the side of the tracks. Feel the smallness of your soul next to the large industrial animals, the silent engines – kings of the iron jungle.
6. Behind St. Anthony’s, traveler, at the corner of Cook and Ferris, there are more spaces for you to wander. A building that has a door on the third floor sparks all sort of deep thoughts. You turn the music up a little on your phone and snap an Instagram photo.
7. Ponder a caption. This might take time, and that’s okay.
8. Use this quote from “North and South.”
I wish I could tell you how lonely I am. How cold and harsh it is here. Everywhere there is conflict and unkindness. I think God has forsaken this place. I believe I have seen hell and it’s white, it’s snow-white. – Elizabeth Gaskell
9. The shipping docks are only a street down. Kick the rocks that rest in the road as you trek along. A burnt red building with windows of broken glass. The Hillsdale water tower is in the distance. Water is the source of life. Water is cool. Keep walking.
10. In his face there came to be a brooding peace that is seen most often in the faces of the very sorrowful or the very wise. But still he wandered through the streets of the town, always silent and alone. ― Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
11. But the cloud never comes in that quarter of the horizon from which we watch for it. ― Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South