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If There Were Any Plants in Dalton's Staircase...

Elizabeth's picture

Hello, Ecological Imaginings! My name is Elizabeth Vandenberg. I'm from Iowa City, Iowa, which is a college town, so it's only (surprisingly) marginally filled with corn fields. I grew up in Northern California in a really small town in the foot hills of the Sierra Nevadas and in Springfield, Illionois. I've never been on the East Coast for such a long time before, but I'm really glad that I'm here at Bryn Mawr, because it seems like a wonderful, wonderful place. Because it's been raining so much, and the sky is so grey, I think that everything I've walked past outside seems misty, all the greens of the plants seem more mysterious and less vibrant now that the sun is away and the bark around them has been turned an even darker color by the water that keeps sinking into it. I've been going in and out of the Dalton Hall staircase for the last couple of days, and that, I think, has been an even more interesting experience, at times, than being outside. (Although, because most of those times would have involved being soaked to the skin if I were outside, I might be a little bit biased.) The glass staircase seemed like a much more sterile, disheartening place than the puddle-dotted outdoors. I was reminded that I was not a part of the outdoors anymore, and the never-ending emptiness of the staircase and its air conditioning made Dalton's staircase feel far less hospitable than the fertile place I had to leave. Although I think that plants would have liked a break from the downpour, I don't think they would enjoy the staircase. I think that vines would love to twist themselves around the handrails, but, like all other plants with roots, would despise being, inevtablly, stomped on. I think the plants would miss their natural environment. They would miss their friends. They would miss the humid air floating around them. And they would miss the rain. The rain that the stairway shielded me from would also be separated from plants, and I think that they would miss that. Both plants and I love being outdoors. Although I could not do it for as long as they do, I could also not last very long in the inhospitable land of the Dalton Hall staircase.