This morning, we woke up and my lovely friend said, "Oh, the sun!" We realized that though this was her second visit to Cambridge in this academic year, it was the first time it hadn't been cloudy and vaguely grim.
Grim today certainly was not. By 3:30 p.m., we were returning from the city centre bearing excellent things: glorious new scarves, a box of eclairs, her new hare, my bunches of tulips, her old friend. The sun was still up and bright, the wind still strong and cold. Our faces were pink and cheered. We made short work of transforming my room of beds, as we'd been calling it, back into its compact and multipurposeful self.
When she'd left, a few hours later, I realized once again just how different life is when you're surrounded by people who know you only the slightest bit, when it comes right down to it. How lovely to wake up and sit in companionable silence reading near someone dear. How big a space is left when you're back to just yourself in your flat. How much more hollow and scraped strange awkwardnesses seem.
It's not precisely that life has gone on hold. It's that this year has finally put my life into a centrifuge and started spinning out its various components so that I can see how I'm really made. I think I'm starting to get it. More bright lines are appearing: I want this; I don't want that; I will not have that.
If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you somewhere. I'm figuring out where I'm going.
Speaking of goings: my Canadian friend flew back from North America yesterday and brought us conversation hearts. I regard this one as a (good) sign of the times--so good a one that I said, "I'm going to keep this one." Because she knows that I don't mess around, she said, "Go ahead!" And so I did.