Silliman Courtyard in fog

Harkness Tower with the word "Sample" printed over itIt might have been fall, early November. It might have been spring. The leaves were thick, heavy, healthy. I might have been a sophomore. I might have been a junior. It was late; I had returned from Sterling studying. The Silliman courtyard was empty, silent–no music from rooms, no laughter, no movement, not even an opening door, a closing door, nothing but me and a deeply settling fog. I sat on the wooden bench we frequented–the epicenter of what we had dubbed Bench City. I placed my books beside me and folded my hands in my lap.

The settling fog settled lower, deeper, thicker and oh, so slowly. A big tree, a widespreading tree–it might have been an elm, it might have been in the northeast corner–had become so mist-surrounded it was near abstraction.

Me, the tree, the fog, the oddly blessed silence.

I thought: I’m sitting in an English garden.

I had never felt, to that moment, so removed from the bleachy suburb in which I grew up, never so delighted with this new world I had come to, never so reposed, and, somehow, worldly and wise and kind-feeling and warmly strange and attached and swirly with delight.

Bryan DiSalvatore