Tuesday April 25, 2017

OAC

The Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC) at the University of Dayton. If it were a person, he or she would be this goofball with dirty feet and the biggest and brightest of smiles. More likely than not, they would be the person to eat the pizza that fell on the floor or go a week without showering for the heck of it. In a garden, they would not only see the rose, but also the bud and thorn. They would welcome a discussion about the highly disputed and intriguing topic of toast. OACers are an interesting breed, that much I can guarantee.

There’s something about it that I can’t really explain, OAC that is. One of my blog posts last semester detailed a trip to West Virginia (https://www.udayton.edu/blogs/mylife/corey/16-10-10-almost-heaven-west-virginia.php) and it was just as hard to explain that then, as it is to explain the recent spring adventure right now. And just like the last one (spoiler alert), I won’t be able to describe it completely. Of course there are pictures to show family and friends, but what are pictures compared to an entire experience? And what an experience it was.

This adventure was that of a full course dinner. It started with a light appetizer of Kentucky for a night, followed by an extravagant entrée of 2 nights on a fluorescently moonlit cove on a beautiful South Carolinian lake. Dessert held its own adequately as well with a final night in the wooded highlands of North Carolina. When all was said and done (and eaten), I don’t know how else to put this, my heart was happy.

In the words of one participant on this trip, it was as if “OAC time isn’t real time.” As far as I know we did not spend our trip in Neverland, where time stands still. Surely I am 4 days closer to a head full of gray hair and a bus full of grandchildren (fingers crossed). But perhaps there is some truth to this statement. The four days on this trip were spent as if a world beyond didn’t exist. All any of us could see were the mountains lingering beyond the water and the trees standing resolute, not to mention the rest of the knucklehead OACers splashing around in the daylight. 

Bringing this almost fairytale time back to reality, I understand that not everyone can go on OAC trips let alone attend the University of Dayton. In fact, there’s an unbelievably small amount that can do both and the fact of which I can do both makes me feel incredibly lucky. While I highly endorse both of those things, I strive to impose a greater point. I stress the importance to find a connection with the natural world. There’s nothing else that compares. It’s just like going home. 

In whatever way you can, be where your feet are. Breathe the air around you; observe the sky and sun above you. Feel the earth beneath you with bare feet. Take in the beauty of a world so longing for you to see. 

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