Before the 8am bell
The air smelled right. Thick and woody, brought on a gently chilled wind and mixed with the aroma of strong coffee—piping hot and perfect. The clouds had rolled in, eager to soak up a seasoned summer’s early morning light.
The walk wasn’t long, but my boots felt new after months of sandals and flip-flops. Over eager maple keys marked the brick path, golden-yellow and strewn about, even though September didn’t arrive till tomorrow.
No matter. The maple keys and I could keep happy company.
A turn on College drew me toward the intellectual heart of town, where the liberal arts college and the seminary shared a campus.
The few brave souls who had chosen 8am courses were converging along the main walkways. Some book-laden. Some still bleary-eyed.
I fell in line, sensing for the first time that I belonged in the thick of satchels and quick steps.
It had been a long time.
Past Dimnent Chapel I cut across the grass, avoiding the paved walk and picking up my pace, kicking lawn clippings up on the toes of my boots. The clock said I could take my time, but I wanted to situate myself in the room before the professor arrived.
The classroom pulsed with expectation and agitated shuffling. There were seats to be found, notebooks to arrange, new friends with whom we could all nervously converse.
The 5 years since my undergraduate degree felt both fresh and like a lifetime ago. Tapping my fingers and smiling to myself, I wondered how I had allowed my soul to go this long apart from academia.
“What will reawaken in the coming year?” I pondered.
“Welcome the Church History,” her voice rang out.
Class had officially begun.