Last Sunday, you may have seen the cover article in Parade magazine, along with the Sunday newspaper, on Awe. I thought that it was a very pleasant read and agree that having feelings of awe and wonder certainly add to happiness.
As an academic I experience feelings of awe especially while traveling and exploring new places but also sometimes, as the article emphasizes, you can get the sense of wonder even from your own neighborhood. Of course, as an academic, I also experience awe when I figure out a tough research problem, get a paper accepted, have a book published, receive a special recognition, and see my students succeed.
I had returned last night around 11PM from Washington DC where I had served on a panel. I had the serendipity the day before of seeing Professor Larry Samuelson and his wife at Bradley airport in Hartford while waiting for my flight to Reagan National. Samuelson is an economist at Yale University and he and I were Visiting Fellows at All Souls College at Oxford University this past spring and part of the summer and we lived at Beechwood Circle and had offices in the same beautiful building. We had always said that we would probably meet at that airport. On my return last night I was seated next to a colleague from the Computer Science department at UMass, which was also quite cool. You can see a photo of Larry and me and other Visiting Fellows at All Souls College on my blogpost here.
Having spent a lot of time in DC yesterday indoors on business and with today, being such a beautiful Fall day, a nice hike was in order and it did not disappoint.
One of the best aspects of living in Amherst is the beauty of the natural environment and I hike throughout the year in every season when I am here.
The photos below were taken today during a hike around Puffer's Pond, which is an Amherst natural wonder. Not only is the beauty of the season revealed through the landscape and colors of the foliage but I must also say that the smells were also delightful from the pine trees to some fall flowers.