It is no secret to anyone who has ever stepped foot on campus that it is absolutely beautiful! I personally enjoy getting out of class, grabbing a Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks, and just walking around to take in the fresh air and beautiful sights. It is midterm season here at CUA, so these walks are a great way to unwind from studying all day and night. This past Tuesday, after being home for the weekend, I thought it was necessary to go on one of these walks to remind myself how lucky I am to go to Catholic University.
I walked from Millennium North, to the Pryz for my Starbucks, past McMahon, and into my favorite place to go and collect my thoughts. This place has a beautifully constructed winding path leading up to it. The grass is perfectly cut, the trees accent the area, and the flowers smile at you as you ascend the path. At the end of the path is a circular seating area with a lovely fountain at its center. No matter what time in the day or night, the fountain is on, greeting you peacefully with its calming waters.
I always get so excited walking down to Mary’s Garden. It is such a unique, peaceful place. For as long as you need to escape reality, Mary’s Garden is there for you. For a moment in time, you completely forget that you’re in the middle of the nation’s capital. It is nice to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life as an overly involved, insanely busy student.
Mary’s Garden is located in the backyard of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The Basilica itself is breathtakingly gorgeous. The reason I chose Mary’s Garden as my favorite and not the Basilica itself, is because most people who visit the Shrine don’t know about its secret treasure, the garden. I like to think of it as a safe, sacred space that I have all to myself.
The garden is a very good place to calm your mind, refresh or even just take a break. I go here once every two weeks to remind myself to take a chill pill, even though I am always super stressed. John Milton perfectly describes how I feel in the company of myself in Mary’s Garden: “Solitude sometimes is best society.” Taking time to yourself to rediscover the beauty surrounding you is a wonderful way to refresh your mind. I love that there is a place on campus that allows me to feel so much peace and joy.
– Lexie Mayewski