Morning Solitude of SFU

au coucher du soleil à Vancouver: ce n’est pas le même que je vous vais dire.

Mornings in my household are the most hectic. Everyone tries to get ready and get out of the house within an hour of waking up. After that rush, when I get dropped off at the bus stop at Production Way, I look forward to the normative silence one experiences in a public place (unless you’re with somebody). The bus ride up to SFU isn’t anything special once you’ve been doing it for a year. But there are some beautiful days when you are above civilisation, except the road, and can see the sun just peeking above the horizon. Although the cloud cover doesn’t allow it, you can feel like rays touching you. For me, it’s almost as if they wash me clean of any worries I had. The energy I develop during the ‘morning rush’ that is waiting to be used is soaked up by the sun. I’m left calm and in my own bubble of stillness.

This morning, however, the cloud cover was such that I couldn’t see the sun rise. On reaching the upper bus stop, I decided I would walk to the AQ (one of the main buildings) from the outside. The parking lot that I cut through was empty. Little bits of gravel and mud crunched under my feet as I made my way to the perpendicular paved path on the other side. It was…quiet. There were no birds chirping. If the fellow behind me couldn’t be heard, I would have imagined the building was completely empty of the thirty five thousand students that attend it. Usually, the weather conditions at SFU are twice as intense as those in the valley, it being on a mountain. But today the breeze lightly brushed my cheeks.

I was holding the two newspapers I always take and a pen in my hand. I was wearing adequate clothing: not too light and not too heavy. My backpack was its usual size with my textbooks in it. So it wasn’t my clothing; it was the breeze. I hadn’t felt this sort of calm breeze since I had been at SFU (two semesters).

I kept walking and my scenario revealed itself to be utterly undisturbed. The snow from the last snowfall had vanished except for the couple tiny mounds of slush strewn on the grass. The trees were bare of any leaves and stood in their anorexic nakedness. If I weren`t observing them, they would seem regular trees to me. But the atmosphere was such that I believed them to be sleeping. The rare leaf that hung by a thread from its branch fluttered, trying to maintain its balance and not join the scattered leaves on the grass. The grass. The grass was green and trimmed. Like all the other grass on the SFU grounds.

The building itself wasn’t the grey it always is. Its grey seemed to be a grey that is in transition, a grey that is waking up to become a black or a white. In this case, the grey seemed to be transitioning into a white. Or maybe that was just me… What caught my eye was the yellow on the windows of the grey building ahead of me (the AQ). The building could see the horizon. It could see the sun peeking out from behind the clouds. I felt left out. I kept walking.

The lights along the path were still on, their bluish white unseen to the naked eye. The pool of water in the ‘smoker’s corner’ was as pristine and as calm as ever. The dirt in it didn’t follow me as I walked by; it continued to sleep on. As I walked down the two flights of stairs that led to the doors of the AQ building, I realized I didn’t want to go in for my 2 hour lecture today. I didn’t want to sit in the screaming grey concrete of the building when I could sit outside and watch the evolution of the grey over the course of the day.

As I sit in the lecture hall, I imagine the grass waking up and the lights turning off for their diurnal sleep. But now I must go back to my books and the reality of the rush I experienced earlier in the morning…


2 thoughts on “Morning Solitude of SFU

  1. How picturesque can you get!! Such a pleasure to read such a lucidly written piece. Especially the phrase: I look forward to the normative silence….

    Like I have been saying for a while, you’re really good with words, maybe its time you contemplate writing a book.

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