Road Trip · travel · traveling

Finding Inspiration

In the creative writing class that I took as an elective, we learned that inspiration is everywhere. When you go home and see a package at your doorstep, when you are walking and see a single flower growing in the grass, when you look at the cloudy sky and see a shape that catches your eye—there is a lot of inspiration to be found in the seemingly mundane. I’ve certainly found inspiration for creative projects in my everyday life before.

But it’s also nice to expand my understanding of everyday life, and so expand the experiences from which I can draw creative projects. While on this trip, I have both the opportunity to witness and to experience “everydays” that are different from my normal, and are a great source of inspiration to draw from.

Today, we first stopped in South Bend, Indiana, and went to Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on Notre Dame’s campus. Not only was the cathedral itself absolutely stunning, and the celebration of the Mass beautiful as well, but in the back of the church was a room full of relics of hundreds of saints. Never in my life have I ever seen the relics of more than five saints in a room at one time. That was an incredible experience.

Our second stop, after walking around Notre Dame for a little bit, was going to the Studebaker Museum, also in South Bend. Reading about the Studebaker family and company sparked some interesting anecdotes, like the talented Studebaker brother who had no business sense whatsoever. Plus, seeing the changing designs of cars over the years had me reflecting both on the changes I’ve gone through personally, and how much I wish cars still looked like they did in the 50s and 60s.

Our last stop of the day (before getting into Chicago!!!) was the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore State Park, and this fount of inspiration is a little more ongoing. Specifically, it was Lake Michigan. More broadly, it was water. Already on this trip, we have seen the Atlantic Ocean, the Chesapeake Bay, the Mississippi River, Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, and countless other streams, creeks, and rivers. And every town and city we come across has some kind of water flowing through it. Water is our source of life and a point of reflection. As we hit more bodies of water, my reflections will continue, and I will continue to share. #WIP

Inspiration is everywhere, I know that now. But, there are the times when inspiration slaps you a little harder in the face than it normally does. These are the backhands I am thankful for.

The main altar at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
I couldn’t fit all of the relics in one picture frame, so here is the first half.
And the other half.
The back side of the main altar.
The tabernacle at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in South Bend, Indiana.
Beautiful portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The main altar at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
The organ.
The Golden Dome, taken from the God Quad.
The grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
My new ride from the Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana.
Lake Michigan from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore State Park.
The amenities building at the Dunes State Park.
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