It feels like it was only a couple of months ago when I wrote about the greens sprouting up and about the people in bright-colored dresses. But that was only a month after the Spring Equinox on which I learned that my grandmother has cancer. I mechanically passed Beltaine and Lughnasadh, wrapped up in my university work load and not really glancing at the nature.
Now my favorite season is in full swing: Autumn. Today is autumnal equinox, or Mabon. Instead of showing off their legs, people hunch their shoulders to brave the cold. The fingertips grow cold in the outside when they are left unprotected. The wind is growing little teeth that doesn’t sting much – yet. And if you leave without a jacket, the cold will slowly seep into your skin, but only so much that a hot shower could chase it out again.
It’s getting colder, and it’s getting darker.
After today, the days will only get shorter and shorter for the next six months, which is not what I’m looking forward to. But autumn itself is lovely, and not just because of the pretty colors outside the window (although I do love all shades of red and yellow and orange). The air is crisp – no metallic snowy smell nor heat and humidity weighing it down. It might be too cold for a flimsy long-sleeve, but throw on another jacket and you achieve the perfect body temperature. Oh, and I can finally drink tea without sweating. Tea, tea, tea. English Breakfast tea with milk in the morning, Korean brown rice green tea in the afternoon, occasional Lady Grey for a change of scenery, Earl Grey if I want a presence of bergamot.
I am reminded of two Mabons ago when I was also working on an academic paper – a part of my high school graduation exams. I remember the months filled with anxiety and frustration, the excruciating four or three final weeks on a frenzied run, and finally the day I roughly finished the paper, and the sweet rush I got from it at four o’clock in the morning.
Now I’m writing a paper as a university homework, and I’m hating every process. There’s no creativity here. You are supposed to follow certain steps and basically write 20 pages about what other (important, scholarly) people think about this and that subjects. You can’t even choose your own topic – all students have to “solve” the same case so that it will be easier for the correctors, who get paid lousy 5 euros (or maybe it’s 6) per paper. I thought it was important for lawyers to keep ideas fresh, stay creative and impartial. If you are teaching first-year-students that no one is interested in their opinion and that they should just follow what other (important, scholarly) people wrote about, where will we be in five years? The university isn’t teaching me to think for myself. It’s making me unsure whether I even have an opinion. It’s teaching me that my opinions are practically worthless. It doesn’t give a damn about that, though. Goodness, this whole crazy thing makes me mad. But it’s also making me rebellious, which is like a wake-up call for me to flip the bird to those who think they know what’s the best for me.