EDITOR’S COLUMN: The peace and quiet of Big Rapids

On its face, there’s really not much that’s special about Big Rapids.

There isn’t a lot to do, not a ton of people; really most of what exists here for students is on campus or right around it. I never thought that I would miss it.

But as the months turned into weeks and then into days that I have left here, I’ve realized there’s one thing I will miss immensely: the quiet.

There are very few places I’ve been in my life where the early mornings are so peaceful you could hear a pin drop. Not every morning was like this, but those mornings are ones that I’ll miss. I remember one specifically that lives in my mind.

There was about a half a foot of snow on the ground at the end of January and everywhere you looked it was pure white. It was one of the few moments I found the winter climate truly beautiful and enjoyed the snow in Michigan. A few clouds were scattered across the sky that was almost painfully bright blue and the sun bounced off the snow in a way that made them both almost unbearable to look directly at. But at the same time, you can’t look away from the pure white surrounding you.

It was cold enough that your breath became little clouds of vapor and I wasn’t wearing a coat. But there wasn’t any wind and I was unbothered by the cold for a few minutes. I’m not sure exactly why I went outside that morning, but I remember pausing and thinking that I would remember that moment for a long time. I even took a video, to try and immortalize the quiet. It was so peaceful it had an ethereal air about it.

My life feels like it moves a hundred miles an hour sometimes. Somedays I blink and it’s already 7 p.m. I’m moving to Kansas City this summer and who knows where after that – probably another large city. These moments will become few and far between.

As someone who is typically someone who speaks their mind with their full chest, it might be surprising that I crave moments of silence sometimes. While I thrive in fast-paced situations, there are times I need to reset. There are times to hit pause in my brain and simply not think.

Taking time to be alone is a way for me to avoid burnout. I had the house to myself when all my roommates went home one weekend and it was such a relief to sit in the house alone. Those moments to yourself are important, whether they’re stolen here and there or all weekend.

Those moments can be found wherever you are if you look for them. Sitting in your car in the driveway for a minute after you get home; taking a minute to look at the stars at night; feeling the relief of finishing in an assignment late at night and breathing for the first time all night.

Don’t underestimate the power of a few moments of peace in your life. They may be hard to find in a world that never sleeps, but they’re worth seeking out.