Spring time…

As it is the first day that really feels like spring, I figured I’d post about it. As a southern girl transplanted into New England, I wait in suspense for the first day I can go outside without a jacket. Which was TODAY!

Spring on campus is ridiculously beautiful. The school has an amazing garden and a bulb area that is blooming with crocuses and daffodils. I am always amazed by just how many people make the rush outside to work and eat and live. That just doesn’t happen when you don’t live in an area covered by a foot of snow for 5 months. People seriously freak out here when it gets warm. The boy and I might even go canoing this weekend. I’ll post pictures if we do.

Another part of spring on campus is something that goes up every year around one of our main lawns. It’s called The Clothesline Project. Every spring, the lawn gets surrounded by these t-shirts. Each one is from a student here and each one is about sexual abuse, physical abuse or rape. Students are invited to make their own and add it to the collection, which is about 10 years old. Though the shirts are sometimes difficult to read, they are incredibly powerful. The shirts range from simply saying survivor to detailing years of sexual abuse to showing support for friends who have been raped. I’ve posted a few on Flickr. Here are the shirts flapping in the wind. They go all around the lawn.

I used to think that this project marred spring. I would be walking home from class and all of a sudden they were there, reminding me everything isn’t sunshine and warmth. Then I was walking back from class and ran into a friend who happens to be a first year. She had just stopped in front of the shirts. We talked for a bit on the way back home. And that’s what the shirts are really about. Not horrifying people, or upsetting them, but for opening up a dialog, because as long as we don’t talk about rape and abuse, it continues to be something shameful that people try to hide. So maybe it’s best that the shirts come out in the spring. Because the shirts aren’t something that should be hidden away, they are something beautiful and brave that should be waving in the spring breeze.

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