Kenyon College

Friday, March 5, 2010

Trains & A Walk

Yesterday evening, around 5:40, I was on a train heading south out of Exeter. It had been a beautiful sunny day, still crisp with winter, and the sun had a restorative effect on everyone's spirits. Now, as I looked up from my book to watch the countryside pass by, I saw the pinkish golden sunset in the low hills to the west, laying everything deeper into a soft grey shadow with the onset of twilight. It struck me again, as it has done many times in the past: I am in England, set down here like a grain of rice on the ground, so that this whole country, though much smaller than the States, feels vastly larger. I think these moments come about when I feel like everything about my experience so far can be encapsulated in what I am seeing. That pinkish gold sunset, the deep rose color of the sky - all at once it seemed to me that this was the perfect and only way to express my time here.

It may be somewhat silly, but there it is.

As you may have read from Claire's previous entries, she and I took a lovely walk a couple weeks ago that started out in the town of Beer, headed out across the fields and through a small wood, paused for a moment in a hamlet of Branscombe, then circled back along the steep gold cliffs toward Beer Head, with a stunning view of Seaton Bay, and finally returned to Beer. We chose a glorious day for a walk, as the sun was resplendent in all its late-February glory, and so the chill helped out quite a bit as we ascended the hillside, up to the top of the cliffs that led away from Branscombe. Seeing the figures on the beach get smaller and smaller as we climbed, stopping and looking at the water stretch away from us, was quite an experience. I adore these walks, the shared experience of beholding something beautiful. Saying hello to passing walkers is one of my favorite things now; it is like acknowledging that shared experience with a simple smile and a greeting.

Now that it is March, the weather seems to have got itself together a little bit. The sun makes itself known more often, and it was even almost warm the other day. It's very pleasant... almost too pleasant. There must be a severe bout of rain soon. I won't get my hopes up for a continuation of this sunlight. It is England, after all.

There are only four weeks of classes left. I have no papers due for more than a month. In the coming weeks I will be going to see Frightened Rabbit (again! Yes!) in Bristol, and when Karl comes to visit, we will be taking a day trip to Bath, and spending a long weekend in Edinburgh. Do expect more from me concerning these events.

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