Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Rather Appropriate Holiday

Yesterday, walking around campus, I noticed the first faint and then overwhelmingly permeating smell of fish. The word “wharf” appeared suddenly in my mind by some strange synergistic connection, as did “fish market,” “crashing foam,” “surf,” and “jetty”. I don’t even exactly know what wharf and jetty mean, but there you have it. Fish.

Of course, there is no nearby ocean, so the fishy odor was exactly that—perplexing. I spent the whole day suspiciously sniffing the air until, passing by a Bradford Pear in full bloom, I put two and two together and instantly felt a bit dumb. Slow on the uptake, I am. Of course, once I realized that the pretty white blossoms were the source of the stench, all images of waves and beaches disappeared at once. A bit of a shame, but the tree in front of me was beautiful enough to make it a worthwhile trade.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day, marks the one year anniversary of my moving to what I still call “the country.” A lot has happened in that year: I finished high school (funny that the last few months of that seven-year experience passed by in a blur which I can hardly recall…save for IB test stress), graduated (yippee!), spent a lazy summer doing approximately nothing, started college (while spending a few months blindly wallowing in self-pity for indeterminate reasons), snapped back into the swing of things, and, well, here I am. I can’t say the Luck O’ the Irish blessed me today (that is to say, no leprechauns jumped out from behind a rainbow to offer me a pot o’ gold or anything spectacular like that), but still, it was a fairly excellent day.

After a semi-brutal lab practical exam in my morning Zoology class, I was ready for a bit of a break before Chem lab, the bane of my existence. A friend and I decided to get carryout from Lucy’s and eat it outside because it was just so flippin’ nice. As we toted our fried rice to the Philosophers’ Table in preparation for a well-deserved feast, I snapped open my fortune cookie. “You like sunshine and fresh air,” said the slip of paper inside. Well, that’s not exactly a fortune, but indeed I do, sir. How appropriate for today. My friend and I sat and talked for a while in the beautiful weather and managed to fill our palms with splinters, but we didn’t even care.

Later, after lab (which was every bit as horrible as I had anticipated), I trotted off to Wind Symphony rehearsal. It was my first time inside the ever-gorgeous Stone Chapel, and I was in reverent awe of the colorful stained-glass work. Lovely.

I elected to take the longer, slower, but much more scenic route home today, and I hung my head out the window like a dog the whole way back. I flipped the radio to the Decades stations for some more mood-appropriate music. Madonna’s La Isla Bonita came on. That’ll do. I noticed, on the way, that the farther from the city I drove, the earlier the development stage of the plants I passed. The flowers in Springfield are all coming up and the trees are full of petals. At home, however, only the grass shows signs of life. My hypothesis (for which I have no evidence and no plans to test) is that this corresponds to a lower carbon dioxide concentration outside the city. Hmm.

Then I went to the pasture to photograph the horses and saw the green, green clover appearing all over the place. Well, not quite the same thing as shamrocks, but it put me in the mood, anyway.

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