Yesterday morning, as I walked to my first class of the semester, I could not help but think about this girl and her river. I thought about my own journey towards a new beginning and also the fact that I am embarking on (most likely) my last semester at the place I have dedicated the past six years of my life to. I kissed my sleepy dog on the nose goodbye and shut the gate behind me. But instead of crossing a river in warm weather and rain, I walked down the alley, across a parking lot, down a flight of icy stairs, and the rest of the way along a frozen lake-- a white tundra, barren enough for ample breathing space, a dark morning sky resting peacefully on the horizon and stretching in an arch above and beyond me. In the five minutes it took me to get from my house to my classroom my world shifted from street lights and stars to clouds streaked in half-light; shapes silently emerged, while the mild cold maintained stillness in everything but shifting sky.
For a moment I hesitated, taking in all that surrounded me before turning my back to its beauty. I pulled open the heavy glass door and was greeted by silent halls. I unlocked my own dark classroom, turned on the lights, and was confronted by perfect rows of desks--desks soon to be broken up into a haphazard circle of expectant and awaiting students. Content that everything was as it should be I went up to my office where I was met by two professors who, after many, many years of teaching beamed just as much excitement as me. And I thought to myself, that it is these beginnings that I love the most--these beginnings that I hope will last forever.