Though it probably would have shocked my companions had I told them so, of all the things I revisited and experienced today, the single best of them all was this willow tree in the late afternoon sun. It wasn't even my willow tree, the one I visited each day beside Trinity Bridge, the one for which I learned the term "catkin," the one I touched hello and goodbye as the year wore on. This was just one more of the willows along the Cam, outside the Wren Library, but this afternoon it was the one where the light was and where the other people weren't.
Some kinds of intimacy, some kinds of knowledge, are simply too close, both too much and too little to be borne. Going back through the day, I might have tried not to see wrists crossed in sleep, not to have an elbow pressed to a hip in a punt. I certainly would have absented myself from at least one whole conversation. But: c'est ma vie. And tomorrow, I will get up again, and that part of it will be all over, possibly forever and ever, which will be its own strangeness and great relief.
Tonight, rain falls on the roof of my college, and because I live just under the roof, I hear it strike and fall, strike and fall.