Today, I stole ten minutes out of my work day to bask in the light and air. Most days I walk across campus from my office to the building where our mail is delivered, gather the mail from the wire basket where it lands after being sorted, and then turn around and head back to my desk. Round trip, it takes about half an hour with no dawdling. But today, I felt compelled to snag a couple minutes for myself. I stretched out on a marble bench, half shaded by an oak tree and relaxed. The mail balanced on my belly, I could feel the cold stone pressing into my back, and few complaining stomach muscles, sore from the previous night’s pilates class. A few leaves on the tree above me were starting to turn from summer green to fall brown, and I know soon, the browns and reds will take charge, leading the tree into it’s winter configuration. But for now there is green. I watched the branches stretch in the breeze, and as two squirrels played tag on the slender upper limbs. I listened at the bell tolled three o’clock and for a second I was 18 and in Walla Walla, so similar is this clock toward to the one at my own college. Eight years passed in ten seconds and it was time to go back to work. I lifted myself off the bench, getting a surprised look from a guy set up with a laptop a couple of benches away, and walked back to my office.

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