45 Minutes of Freedom

By Mackenzie Ryan

The clock strikes 10:15. I fold away my notebook and pack my pen in its designated pouch. Sliding them both carefully into my backpack before picking it up and swiftly onto my shoulders. In a matter of seconds, I am up from my small creaky desk and out of the door. A quick left and I hit the stairs, winding down farther and farther until I turn the last corner and I’m greeted with the red dull glow of an exit sign. Here lies my freedom, at least for 45 minutes.

The sunlight hits my face first. In true South Carolina fashion, it’s just warm enough for a t-shirt in the middle of January. By now my pace has slowed right along with my mind. Looking down at my feet, my view quickly changes from concrete to rust colored bricks placed ever so meticulously years before my feet ever touched the earth. I’m too busy fumbling with my tangled headphones to notice I’ve managed to make my way onto the Horseshoe.

After what seems like forever, I force the cord into its slot and slowly the music begins. A few punches of the volume button and I’m lost in a melody. Step by step, I make my way through the leafless trees as they sway gracefully in the wind to the tune playing in my head.  Physically I am here. Mentally, well that is a whole other ball game.  Even in winter the beauty of the Horseshoe enthralls me, drawing my attention in day after day.  Something about a slow harmony in combination with nature stops the world, even if it’s only for 45 minutes.

Ryan is a Senior, Public Relations major