Spooky season is here! Every day more trees lose their leaves, and with the approach of colder days, I took the opportunity to go to different events on campus while it is still tolerable to be outside for more than ten minutes at a time. Here are two of the chances I took to go outside and appreciate the fall in its prime.
“Art in the Arb”
“Art in the Arb” was an event sponsored by Colby’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life as part of a newer program: Arts and Spirituality! Though few people showed up to the event, I still found it useful to step outside for a bit and enjoy nature. Here’s how it went:
As soon as I arrived and took off my headphones — which I wear pretty much everywhere — I immediately noticed what I had been blocking out before birds. The weather that day was perfect, neither too hot nor cold, as I was able to take off my jacket with no problem. The sun was shining; the birds were singing; and after that we made our way to the arb, walking through Runnals lot and then off into the woods, the crunch of dead leaves under our feet keeping us company all the way.
As I’ve mentioned in other articles, I’m not much of an artist, so I didn’t expect to do much without materials. But even then, this experience wasn’t about showing an art piece to the world, but the opposite: to find yourself in nature and through nature, and what it means to make something for no one else to see, something that is impermanent and will eventually fade. So it wasn’t about pride at all, but finding beauty in impermanence, beauty in the natural.
And this latter part was essential to my experience of the event. As I was looking for “materials” for my creation, I found something surprising: stomping on a sea of dead leaves — as all of us on campus will be familiar with — I looked down, hoping to find flowers to decorate my creation. Though I did find some yellow flowers, I found something more shocking: wild blueberries sticking out of the ground. As I continued to walk, I realized how many of them there were. I’m no botanist, but I wasn’t expecting to find that kind of thing this late in the year.
Though I did not immediately know what to do with this information, when the thought of using them as paint finally came to me, I had a really fun time. It was a needed pause to enjoy myself and nature without the busy noise of everyday life.
“Art in the Arb” will not return as it was this time considering the approach of colder days, but you can look for more events in the Arts and Spirituality program in the form of short craft sessions on Sunday evenings. Hope to see you there!
Second Pumpkin Carving Contest at HAARC
Last Friday saw the return of Colby Recreation’s pumpkin carving contest at the Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center courtyard. I found this particularly fun — as an international student, I had yet to participate in such a classic American Halloween activity, and I am grateful to have done so last weekend. Open to students, faculty, and staff, Colby Recreation provided all the tools necessary to participate in pumpkin carving, including spoons, serrated knives of different sizes, and latex gloves (the sensation of a pumpkin on the inside is a little strange, after all).
Though the word “contest” may sound intimidating, the atmosphere was anything but. With background pop music and an inviting environment, there was no external pressure to create a masterpiece. Personally, since this was my first time carving a design into a pumpkin, I went for the classic design, even though I knew I was not going to win anything for that. But nobody pressured me to, which was very relieving. With a friend to guide me, it was just a time for us to have fun while being seasonal.
Though originally the event was to be held on Oct. 14, the change to Oct. 21 allowed the registration to be extended for another week, which in my opinion worked in the event’s favor — the closer to Halloween the better in my opinion — as it allowed more people to be able to attend, myself included. Plus, it extends the pumpkins’ lifetime a little more.
Some people took their pumpkins home, hopefully, to decorate their building, but some others were left to decorate the HAARC. However, this is a contest, after all, so pictures of the pumpkins have been uploaded to an Instagram story on Colby Recreation’s account, so you can vote for your favorite design! (Included in this article is one of two pumpkins that my friend, Lucia Rascionato, was able to make in the allotted time.) It was a great start to the spooky season!
~ Nico Flota Sanchez `25