Exams are over (well, mine are) and summer is here (well, sort of)! Ah, the blissful relief. No more burning the midnight oil, trying to pack three months’ worth of course material into a two-page summary. No more waking up in a cold sweat after dreaming you’ve slept through the exam. No more irrational anxiety, no more looking like the “before” side of health product adverts. But there is little respite. A morning to sleep in, an afternoon in the sun, and by evening, the mind is already clocking back to work, and once again, time is measured by productivity. You don’t dare relax too much, for fear of losing the momentum. Now that exams are done, there’s the dissertation to think about. And after that comes the mother of all questions: what next? And as the “next” inches into the “now”, the question becomes ever more significant.
Reading all this, you would be forgiven for thinking that it’s a singularly depressing outlook on life: a list of tasks to be ticked off, one after the other, no sooner than one goes out, new ones pop up to take its place. Such a dour metaphor: life is a to-do list.
Except it’s not.
London is truly beautiful at this time of the year. The distance between dawn and dusk has decreased, and the days are longer than they have any right to be (in my very Kenyan opinion). The bunnies and squirrels are out in force, the flowers are in bloom and the skies and grounds are painted with the colours of summer. The city is flooded with tourists, and the parks are full of families spending quality time together. (Is it just me or do children appear out of nowhere in summer time? There seem to be so many more of them these days!) Frappes and smoothies are on offer at all the coffee shops and of course, strawberries are in season.
Can anyone truly be immune to all this? I think not.
A bite into a plump, red, juicy strawberry. A sip of a cool iced mocha. A moment; just one, when the sun emerges and shines down bright, as a gentle breeze musses your hair. Small things, insignificant things even, but tiny little reminders not to take life too seriously. Deadlines will come, deadlines will go, and we will meet them, as we always have. But that golden moment in the sun; fragile, ethereal and fleeting, that, I’ve realised, is something we all deserve to enjoy, no matter what our pressures may be. After all, as the saying goes, we all deserve our moment in the sun.