Summer was upon us.
The leaves swayed in the light breeze – they made a particular sound as the zephyr brushed against them in a gentle caress. It was soothing: both the breeze and the rustling leaves.
I was on my way home that day. It was the last day of class, and the campus was nearly empty. I was free to act as I wished – there was no one there to see me. So I ran in the hallways and giggled to myself. I twirled round and round, my arms open wide, as if to embrace the atmosphere that permeated the campus – freedom.
There was freedom in the air.
But it was more than just that. The night before I had come to a realization, a breakthrough, if you will – and all the time as I walked on home, it kept going back to me: that I was free.
There was nothing holding me back. And it was a glorious thing.
In my planner, there is an innocuous question that asks what makes me most happy. Last year, I had written that what made me most happy was when I saw my infinite possibilities stretch out in front of me. What that simply means is that I am happiest when I envision who I am, who I am becoming, and who I could be in the future.
So as I ran through the hallways in San Carlos, traversing buildings connected by the same pathway, eventually I came to the juncture between the SMED building and the Bunzel building – and I took this picture.
When I first saw the sight, my breath caught in my throat. The trees were so very vibrant, and the leaves were so very green. Nature had come alive with the changing of the seasons.
It was at that moment that I felt an epiphany.
I wanted that moment to stretch into eternity, because peace that exceeded all understanding had washed over me, and I felt so very, very free. I was unshackled. Unchained. Weightless.
And only then did I grasp what Shakespeare wrote, around 4 centuries ago, as Hamlet faced himself in the mirror: “To be or not to be. That is the question.”
And I chose to be.
(For the Son has set me free.)
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.