A Love Letter to Greenville in the Fall
Written by Emily Bishop. Media by Denee Menghini.
Emily Bishop is the CRE of Burritt Hall and a Greenville College alumna. Known for her love of beauty, Emily shares some of her favorite parts of experiencing Greenville in the fall below.
Dear Greenville in the Fall,
You always wait for me and, like any good relationship, I am completely oblivious to your beginning. I suppose this is because Fall is the end of the beginning. Gone is the hustle and bustle of New Student Orientation, the formal celebration of convocation chapel. Our book bindings are broken and our first semester paths are worn into our daily routines. Real relationship is beginning to emerge.
Yet I am still surprised when I find all the sweltering heat of August confined in a bonfire in October. The smells and the tastes of the world have changed again, begging me to pay attention. I am no stranger to Greenville in the Fall, which makes the following a continued expression of my love: I’m so thankful the change of season causes me to open my eyes for the millionth time, to remember the story of this place in the world in which I live.
The yellow fields are being harvested, exposing the tiny farmhouses, barns, and silos on the horizon. If you squint, they look like churches in the middle of that great lined landscape. Spirituality in the Midwest has always been connected to the land. We’re always concerned with what kind of crop we’re growing up, and it’s no different inside our brick walls at school. In case you’ve missed it somehow, this is how the Faculty and Staff feel about you:
New Students, we are delighted with your presence and cannot wait to see how you give Greenville a new name. We hope you receive our years-old name with grace. Returning Students, your familiar faces make us feel right at home. We trust you will continue to follow your footsteps as they are guided into the way of peace.
New or old, student or faculty, allow me to remind you of the beauty in which we find ourselves. Half of the produce at Wayne’s Market is apples. Find yourself one labeled Honey Crisp and walk down the tree-lined College Avenue when the leaves turn orange. The walking path at Patriot’s Park is filled with more puddles, a map to the new breaks in the trees overhead due to falling leaves. Crisp and clear are the only words capable of describing the night, and if you look up above I swear those stars are singing. Everything seems to be sharper in the Fall: the air we breathe, the blackness of the coffee we drink, the brightness of the scarves we will soon wrap around our necks.
Blue skies and football will soon give way to bone chilling rain and houses lit with warmth from the inside. Conversations will be accompanied with white puffs of breath or quickly exchanged as we dart from class to class underneath umbrellas. On that day, when Greenville becomes a living river and skies are grey, when Fall truly arrives and you’re reminded winter is around the corner, put on your favorite sweater, sprinkle some cinnamon in that hot cider you’re drinking, and remember who you are. What a gift to learn, to teach, to enable the community in which we live to bring life.
I’ve always loved you, Greenville, but I first fell in love with you in the Fall. So I raise my hand (warmed by the pumpkin chai I’m holding which will soon give way to mittens and coat pockets) to you in celebration of the beginning of our relationship when I was just a Freshman, dazzled by the Fall.