The Insighter: September 21

A few beautiful days, and we feel spoiled. We line the Starbucks window worktable, watching the rain or watching the sun, imagining we’re not the only ones who like to watch the change.

Baristas are impatient behind us when someone forgot to pick up their breakfast sandwich, but we try to have them laugh it off. We can’t come to a consensus about our hot drinks or cold, some of us with sleeves and some of us with straws, and I notice that we’re all a bit in-between.

Between seasons, between projects, between settled and stressed. Last week, I wrote about the busy on the farmer’s market bridge, this week our downpour scared away most of the less brave tents. Still more wellies, I warned you. Since then, it has been shiny. Do you get up early? The air is sweet if you walk the rain-cleansed pavement in the morning. Before the first-year smell of sweat and laundry detergent leaks through the thresholds of the card-key doors, step outside, on campus, in the ATL, step outside and inhale. Do you smell weather shifts? Is what you smell the scent of clean? Of new?

Traffic cops and Emory police, no wonder I never park on the street. I’ve told you before, I’m a New York City girl, I appreciate some of the things my colleagues can miss. Like walking. I hear lots of us displeased with the long, arduous trek from freshman dorms to … the DUC. The WoodPEC. Today, it is beautiful, I say, go outside. Even if you don’t walk, even if you sit for two full minutes and breathe in this Fall that’s fresh, maybe our in-between will travel smoothlier.

While things shift, we are constantly producing. Why is it so hard to find a spot in study rooms at peak work hours?

Maybe it’s that we are producing in the day hours, maybe it’s that we are producing through the night, and there is always a series of dozers flopped over Cox computing keyboards. We work hard here. People are serious, we get shushed in quiet corners that some of us try to enliven with laughter once in a while. Seasons may be swinging, Starbucks may be stuffed full, but we are still called on to produce. Reliably. I have a binder full of to-do lists and post-it notes. But I try to remember to inhale. To breathe while I walk. To find some fun when the sun goes down.

– By Chloe Olewitz