Before the pandemic, my days were quite straight forward. I would have woken up quite early, done my morning routine and then went to the library where I stayed all the hours in between the classes. As we live close to the campus, I was very used to walk around and pay attention to the buildings, the light, the weather. I knew when the leaves are changing, when the flowers are growing. I knew the hues and the shapes of different branches of the trees that I saw from the window of the library. My days were quite filled with the outdoors even if I spent most of the time indoors. It was a geography that I grew to love especially because the campus is quite a fantastic place, very old and very new, filled with trees and flowers and gardens that were taken care of for hundreds of years.
Needless to say, things are different now. I am fortunate enough to still have a seat next to a window but at home. From the window, I can see only concrete walls but during a late walk in the campus, I gathered some red ivy leaves that I know gaze at when I’m studying, trying to remember that the place that I love so much and everything it represents is still here and there, not lost, and that this is only a moment which will pass.
On the bright side is that we are also fortunate to have a lovely walk by the canal very close to home, and we have each other so now we enjoy these long, late in the afternoon walks, with deep conversations with sometimes blackberries to go, that like today, ended up in a breakfast crumble. Learning this slow living and taming anxiety takes is something that I’m not making a lot of progress with but I guess we are all hanging on in there trying to add different smells and rituals that would usually be part of this time of the year, like eating pumpkin and buying chrysanthemums.
In the end, autumn is such a powerful time, I try to at least remember that.