Dogwood Confessions


I was recently in Asheville, NC for my homecoming at Warren Wilson College. It was the first time I’d been back since graduating in May and it was quite a surreal experience as I was back at a place that has meant so much to me over the past four years. I was also able to see many of my good friends who came from all over the country to be back for homecoming so overall it was pretty wonderful.

And one of my favorite parts of visiting Wilson is being able to go to an area of the campus called Dogwood. Dogwood is a hill at the back side of campus that looks over the valley, our farm, the historic white barn and the mountains. Throughout my years at Wilson Dogwood was a haven for me. When I was stressed, wanted to be by myself or needed to relax I would go there and breathe.

I’m not a huge nature person, indeed often I’d rather be in a downtown area full of technology but Dogwood is one of the few places I feel at home in nature. So when I was there I wrote a short creative non-fiction piece that I wanted to share with all of you. Enjoy and no stealing 🙂


Dogwood Confessions

#1 – I like wearing short, lacy dresses in green, luscious fields.

#2 – I miss the mountains; the enormity of them, the darkness of their creases and the way they drape one upon another.

#3- There are more cows than people here and I’m invading their home.

#4 – Wilson couples still perplex me, with their long hair, skinny bodies and swaggering manners.

#5 – The scent of cow pies, impending rain and wild flowers is actually quite sweet.

#6 – Crickets, although natural musicians, are nothing compared to Ed Sheeran’s voice caressing me through my phone’s speakers.

#7 – This long field with those particular minty green mountains in front of me still feels like a home.

#8 – The Wilson couple, up the field, under an oak tree, are not looking at the mountains.

#9 – The imminent black storm cloud stealing the sun’s rays doesn’t scare me.

#10 – I’m quite happy. Here, in this typical dogwood moment.

Cracked Lips a.k.a Snow Days in College


So today my college, Warren Wilson, in Asheville, NC is enjoying the benefits of Storm Leon. He’s a temperamental son of gun and to say today is chilly would be a vast understatement. My college campus is blanketed with snow and when I woke up to go to work this morning the pesky flakes felt the need to land in my eyeballs and after my water aerobics class  my wet hair froze.

Classes have been canceled along with my work meetings and car crashes are littering the icy roads. It’s a crazy day and I say all of this to in turn say Snow is beautiful and one of natures wonders, but dear lord its side effects can be messy.

This snowy day inspired me to share something I wrote a couple weeks back when I was in the midst of another snow storm a.k.a The Polar Vortex. (Please keep in mind I wrote this right after rushing into my apartment from the frigid cold, so be gentle when judging.)

Now North Carolina did not have it as bad as many other places in the states but it was still unpleasant. So, please, enjoy this little snippet. If, like me, you’re surrounded by snow today please find some companionship in the words and know that you’re not alone in enduring the elements. And if you live in a non snowy region of the country/world tilt your head back, enjoy the sun kissing your skin and be thankful your lips aren’t cracking 🙂

Cracked Lips

Red nose. Numb, cracked lips. Knees knocking. Oh so very cold. Hurts inside like being struck over and over with a knife.

Do not like.

Howling wind pushes the ice into my veins. Disappear further into layers of feather padded jackets, fuzzy hats, knitted gloves and white flakes. Not to be seen again until the longed for thaw.

Until Next Time,

Be Blessed, Stay Strong and Never Give Up (And Stay Warm),

Grace Hatton