Letting Go Great Gatsby Style

There is always a magical feeling when summer is in the air. Winter’s icy edge is almost gone; only a harsh breeze might dare remind you of those cold months. Spring’s sun warms your face, but it too has an edge. This thought crossed my mind last weekend when I was actually hot for the first time all season.

The past two weeks we have been blanketed by gloomy clouds and sporadic rainstorms that always began at the worst possible moment. But last Sunday, at least for a few hours, warm weather made a brief appearance.
Floppy hat? Check.
Puffy dress? Check.
Ribbon? Check.
I stomped around my messy room throwing items of clothing into a duffle bag. My mental check list had become hazy, so I just assumed everything had been packed. Several of us CNU students were headed to Annapolis, Maryland for a weekend and we were preparing to leave in ten minutes. I am always grateful that I’m a fast packer because procrastination has become the norm.
Packing for the trip to Maryland
Why the hats, dresses, stockings, and ribbon? Each year Annapolis has a croquet match between St. John’s College and Navy, two prominent schools in the city. Most attendants dress as though they have walked out of the pages of “The Great Gatsby,” with old-fashioned outfits and accessories. Of course I wanted to play along, and so did the rest of the CNU crowd.
When we arrived ten minutes before one o’clock that Sunday afternoon, more than a thousand people covered St. John’s main lawn. Tents were lined along the edges of the three croquet matches, and smells of alcohol and grilled food mixed together into a wonderful aroma that reminded me of summer cookouts and lazy days of adolescence, when the biggest decision one had to make all day was what bathing suit to wear. Maybe that seems spoiled to say, but the existence of an imaginative 13 year old who “never wanted to grow up” is long gone. Yet the chance to relax and disappear into a pretend world had presented itself once again. My nostalgic mind was captivated.
The group of CNU students dresses for croquet
I was in a new atmosphere, but felt at home and comforted by the pleasant environment. Thoughts of papers, speeches, and exams slipped from my mind until these concerns were hardly even present. Yearning to live in a world with no responsibility would be inexcusable, but letting go for an afternoon can be so beneficial.

More Photos from the Weekend's Events:

"Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning-- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby