The days and hours tend to blur together around this time of year - midterms are no joke, Princess; the added pressure of the tutorial system has only increased the whirling feeling. For those of you who are not familiar with the tutorial system in Oxford, it works like this:
You meet individually with your tutor once a week. They give you a reading list and a prompt for a paper ("What importance did CS Lewis attach to myth?" - my paper two weeks ago). Each week, you produce a 2,000-2,500 word paper on that topic. Repeat cycle. This happens with two tutors. It's both incredibly taxing and incredibly rewarding. However, on both counts, it only adds to the whirl.
If you've ever been a student, you know the feeling I'm describing, and I am essentially revisiting a topic from a few weeks ago (See my blog post Be Still). Oxford has reminded me of just how much mindfulness it can take to really capture what is going on around you. It's a matter of allowing your entire self to be invested in enjoying the smell of rain on the pavement - a cold, sharp smell, but still reminiscent of the island rain I grew up with - or the majesty of a thousand years of history. It's all there, and it's so very present that it is easy to miss.
My goal, at the moment, is to miss as little as I can. It's not just a matter of drinking in what is glorious, but also enjoying fully the world around me. There is a lot to be enjoyed, and just as much to be contemplated. However, the precise moment that the moon breaks through the clouds and shines in through my skylight is not the time to ponder the beauty; it is the time to bask in it. Even if it's only for an hour or two a day, I need to enjoy the world I'm currently in fully, unabashedly, delightedly. This is a beautiful place. It's time to pause the whirl and delight in the stillness.