Blogs - Summit Oxford
March 22, 2009
And many miles be still to go…
Today marks my one-week anniversary of the beginning of the springtime of my soul (freedom from weekly essays). It may be that my outlook on life has changed, but it seems that spring has arrived in Oxford within the past week as well; weather has been between 10 and 20 (about an average of 55 for my Fahrenheit friends) and I have never seen as many daffodils as Oxford boasts in middle March. Don't get me wrong, my nine weeks of studying at Oxford University were incredibly rewarding, and I learned loads from the tutorial system that I hope to be implementing in Summit work, when I go back to Hillsdale, and the rest of my life--but I want a little more distance from the term before I outline everything that I have gleaned from my studies.
So this week I have spent distancing myself from the past nine. Somehow, this week has felt longer than any of my other weeks here; it seems I have had more time to relax both with friends and by myself. I spent a lot of money at a French Market to make a decadent array of breads, cheeses, olives, artichokes, wine, and fruit and then invited friends over to enjoy it with me. Every one of those Elizabeth II's was worth it. At different times with different friends I was able to get a little bit of a movie-fix. I watched several episodes of The Office (the British version) as well as Wallace and Gromit (A Close Shave), and a Chuck Norris movie. I also traveled about twenty miles southwest of Oxford to Uffington to visit The Vale of the White Horse. Three friends and I enjoyed exerting ourselves on the steep hills to see the gigantic chalk horse dating to big number B.C.'s, the hill of a legendary battle between King Arthur and a dragon, an Iron Age fort, a Roman road, and a mysterious Neolithic burial site. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day: It was foggy at first, but as we hiked the fog slowly lifted allowing us to enjoy the incredible vantage.
I also picked up The Fellowship of the Ring, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it again. If I was not before, I am becoming a believer in the detoxifying powers of fantasy. During a short meal and reprieve from the fear of the black riders, Frodo, Sam, and Pippin sing:
Ho! Ho! Ho! to the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe.
Rain may fall and wind may blow,
And many miles be still to go,
But under a tall tree I will lie,
And let the clouds go sailing by.
Fellow, Hilary Term '09