There is a certain ecstatic air when twilight falls at Tufts on a Saturday night. Friends congregate with plans to watch a movie. Study groups grab their much-needed coffee ahead of a long night of working. Cohorts grab dinner while discussing upcoming events that have them excited. Every Jumbo is enjoying their time on this crisp autumn evening. Moments like this make me think of our motto: Pax et Lux. These are moments of perfect peace, pax. These are the moments of life and light, lux. The sun may be setting, but darkness evades the hill.
This (pictured above) is my happy place.
Of course, Pax et Lux means something different to everyone —which is so deeply beautiful and truly poetic. A close friend of mine believes that our motto means that internal peace radiates external light. They believe that Tufts’ motto serves to inspire one’s inner light in order to make the world a brighter place for all. This is so beautiful to me, and I love the hope it holds. Personally, I have been asking myself what this means for a very long time. I love many of the ideas and interpretations I have heard, but I had never truly felt the correct answer—until very recently.
I felt something new when I found my meaning of Pax et Lux. It arrived when I was least expecting it. It was on my journey home from near-dusk Dunkin’ run (because that’s a pretty great time to have a meaningful revelation, I guess) when I stopped and felt a sentiment I had never felt before. Outside of Bendetson Hall, which had been newly adorned and festooned with beautiful lights, I had to stop and admire, but I couldn’t quite understand why.
It was one of those moments you feel more than you remember. I remember breathing differently. The air had a refreshing chill, and I can still feel the way each exhale left my lungs. A slight chill accompanied the autumn evening. The stars began to grow visible as students went on their way across the Academic Quad. There I was, surrounded by a community I love, feeling at peace with the world. I remained there for a few minutes, but that moment—and that feeling—will remain with me indefinitely. I felt peace; I felt light.
PAX ET LUX, JUMBOS.