I trust you’ll understand the reference to a somewhat newer Scottish tragedy without me having to name the play. And yes, there is tragedy as touching as Hamilton in my story as I approach the end of my time here. You might say that I’ve received an omen reminding me that everything ends eventually. I am, of course, referring to the tragic and painfully abrupt bereavement that happened very close to me: the destruction of my favorite flip-flops. Truly, could there be a more heartbreaking harbinger of the end of times (in Oxford)?
And yet, they say that a flame burns brightest right before it goes out, and I’ve found this to be an apt way to describe the windfall of events that have me running from place to place, now armed (or legged) only with my backup running shoes. As our time in Oxford comes to a close, I find myself burning with newfound passion to see everything I can, finish strong on my final papers, and make lasting memories. How sad it is then that there are only so many hours in the day and it seems like I’m always running out of time. Kicked into overdrive, I’m now striving to put as much into my days as possible. Our final trip to London was yesterday, and I can proudly say that I feel I really lived to the fullest. The day began in high spirits with a trip to Camden Market, a place I can truly say is without equal. The experience of walking through the myriad of stalls and booths was intriguing, satisfying, and rewarding despite my poor means leading me to forgo buying any of the amazing articles of clothing or fanciful pieces of jewelry. I don’t think I’ve seen such vibrant displays and energetic hawkers anywhere else in London, or anywhere else I’ve been in my life, all things considered. The sheer variety was astounding. As I frantically absorbed this amazing place, I finally was satisfied with my desire to see a genuine expression of London’s culture, which was more than pervasive in Camden market, it was all-encompassing. From here, we traveled through the Tube to Covent Garden, where we were immediately drawn to a large fountain with Shakespeare’s likeness carved into it’s center. Perhaps if you’ve met me before, you might think that I was drawn to the magnanimous appearance of the Bard’s likeness, or perhaps the insightful quote on his huge book. This time, for once, I was more focused on the water itself. Captured below by the unparalleled photographer Ronnie (who informed me in no uncertain terms that if I did not give her due credit it would likely lead to my disembowelment), is the joy of simple pleasures and living in the moment. It seems this is all I can manage to do in these short weeks in which I’ve found myself unable to plan ahead or do anything without complete spontaneity. Here’s hoping there will be a little more time for adventures despite the busy finale of this trip!