A Scene

by Monim Wains

Crisp air blows at my hands and ears; spring breaks from winter. Some days that chill and others that mellow. Freshness surrounds me now; everything filtered with a screen of sunlight behind the clouds. The green grass is shaded a slight yellow, as if the air is coloured warm.

My legs are swinging over the edge of the bank. The ends of my toes just dip into the slow flowing stream. Soft foam caresses the bottom of my feet. It tickles a bit. A soft bed of mud and grass, still damp from the morning dew, sits underneath me. The little droplets of water wet my hands as I lean back and lie down. It’s a natural bed; I lie back and feel part of the earth, gazing up at the clouds. I buoy through space and time, cradled by Gaia’s arms. The weight of my head and body is now hers to carry, and we are one. The grass on her sleeve pillows my skin, each leaf is a gentle stroke of life.

Upwards, vast smudges of grey and white blend into blue. The sun’s light leans on them and they soften its edge, leaving only a pleasant hue. They yawn across the space. Great oceans of mist hover in heaven, floating with birds, nudged by the revolutions of the world.

But time seems still. It is as if the sweet scent of every flower I breathe hangs in the air, suspended in the breeze that brushes my nose. I could close my eyes to freeze this moment in memory, but I lay transfixed instead. The swirls and twists of the sky are too intricate for me to miss. Admiring each fractal of ethereal wool, drowning in the detail, I am lost. The intricacy arrests my eyes. It was as if a paintbrush had kissed the sky, the lipstick soft and smudged. The strokes draw me in and holding me there.

A butterfly flutters into view and lands on the very tip of my nose. That tickles too; its legs tippy toeing on the peak it had found. My nose is upturned, surprised at this new tenant. I think the butterfly joined me for a second to survey the hills that stretched away. It doesn’t stay for long; I guess the daily business of hunting pollen makes one busy. It was a busy butterfly, I muse. I wasn’t busy. I was still.

I breathe in, pulling the grass and clouds into my lungs. It fills me with calm and life. I breathe out, feeling again a part of the wind that carried the butterfly. I am a leaf twisting and turning through the heavens on a current that rolled the earth. I became part of it, the sky and the ground.

It gives me pause to think. Of me; of how, in moments of nature and peace, I am no longer there. I can observe other living things, but me, there’s no me anymore; existence lifts away from me. Yet, inexplicably, I am left whole. When there is no person to speak of – because there is no person to speak. There is only to be.

It is strange. I don’t understand it. But so it is. Feeling so found in the depths and folds of space. Just by being. Being. That is all.

It is beautiful to be.

The Poor Print

Established in 2013, The Poor Print is the student-run newspaper of Oriel College, Oxford. Written by members of the JCR, MCR, SCR and staff, new issues are published fortnightly during term. Our current Executive Editors are Siddiq Islam and Jerric Chong.

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