After a long day of classes or dragging myself through downtown, the most simple of sights tend to be the most relaxing. A quick view outside of my dorm bedroom window does the trick every time. Looking past the smudges and cobwebs pressed up against the glass, I have a clear view out of the outside. Cars zoom past on a distance road in my peripheral vision, smearing together as a conglomerate of colors. City sirens hum in the background. A great sense of comfort washes over me, knowing that people are in reach but not necessarily in plain view. I need this feeling while studying abroad in a foreign country.
My residence is gated off by a wooden fence with red poppies growing on the side. The backyard is wonderfully reminiscent of my family house in the Benguet Mountains. There isn’t a better place to set down a table and have some tea. Or read a book riddled with nostalgia. Or take a run around in the grass and cry from laughter. It could be another place in time and would look exactly the same.
As the wind drifts through the air, the trees whisper a melancholy song with lyrics that you think you can easily recall but have clearly forgotten, Birds chime into the harmony as they leap from their nests and soar past the tree branches. No matter the current climate, whether lightning has just struck the sky or the sun shines like never before, a soft aroma of eventual rain floats into my room. Yankee Candle would bottle the scent and sell it as “The Calm Before The Storm.”
But the most noteworthy sight of them all are the changing leaves that range in shades from yellow to orange and everything in between. Another marvelous sense of solace comes over me, knowing that autumn is approaching in the near future. This soft passage of time is a great reminder of my life back in the United States and that the best of Oxford is yet to come.