Sometimes I get tired of living off the beaten path. I crave the big lights and the rush of the city, but I always eventually fall back in love with Buena Vista.
Let’s be clear: Buena Vista is a small town. There’s one high school that everyone cheers for, a bunch of cute antique stores and a hand full of locally-owned restaurants. People here are proud of who they are and where they come from, and I happily count myself among them.
While always a rush, driving into a larger city for the weekend becomes just that: a rush. The traffic gets old and the magic wears off. Every single time, I find myself letting out a sigh of relief as I get off the highway and crest the hill that leads down into our beautiful little valley. I never even realized I was holding my breath.
That’s when I leave and then get to come back. But my favorite “falling in love” moments are when I’ve been having a difficult day, and the valley reminds me of how wonderful the world is. Today was one of those days.
For everyone reading this, whether you’re a student yet or not, you should know it’s the last week of classes. Correction: the last week of classes before finals.
This is a stressful time.
But this morning I woke up to the most glorious sight. The hills and trees were shrouded in a layer of sparkling ice and the air was so clear and fresh. It smelled like Christmas. Yes, it was cold, but it was invigorating.
I almost crashed my car on the way to classes because I was too busy staring at the pretty hills. Don’t follow my example. Anyway, I digress.
Then, later that day, I was walking to work and happened to look down into town. I was awestruck by how incredibly stunning the town looked in the fading sunlight. A light haze filled the valley, resting just a little above the rooftops. The mountains in the background were a deep, heathered purple, and the light was golden.
Again, I almost died because I stopped right in the middle of the street to stare.
The point is that this place is more than just a small town nestled in the Appalachians. There is a peace and a calm that lives here — the town itself breathes.
It’s hard to pinpoint and even harder to express how amazing Buena Vista is. We lack some of the flashy attractions that other towns boast of, but the people, the town and this valley have a soul, one that edifies and uplifts.
I am just so thankful to be here, and I can’t wait to come back after Christmas break.
(Post by Erin Seage ‘16)