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Walking to School

Yesterday, I woke up to the sunrise. It was strange to be up so early, but in a flurry, I was ready and out of the house in less than twenty minutes. I stepped out of the apartment, walked down 15 flights of stairs, and out onto the streets of my apartment complex. The grey pavement was glistening with the drizzling rain, and I stood out with my bright blue raincoat and rainbow umbrella. I began walking past high-rise homes with small balconies holding laundry done the day before and potted plants, reaching all the way up the 20-odd floor buildings. The scenery changed as I crossed a busy intersection – each close call with a motorcycle waking me up further – and found myself walking alongside ivy growing along a park fence. Coupled with the grey, patterned sidewalk and yellow-brown fallen leaves, the ivy looked much more vibrant and comforting. The sky was reflected in the puddles on the sidewalk and street curbs, giving the bland walkway light from the clouds above, albeit occasionally interupted by ripples from a raindrop. This peaceful avenue streached on for a while, long enough for my mind to stray from the traffic chaos and the noise of the breakfast street vendors. Passing by the Kunming University of Science and Technology, I was lost in the autumn trees and myriad of leaf colors, standing in accented contrast to the grey city backdrop. A lovely space to think, wonder, and dream, all while on a simple commute from home to school. As I approached the program house through a busy construction site, the bustle of parents and grandparents bringing their children to school brought me back to the moment: morning in the city of Kunming, home to millions of families, workers, and commuters, just like me. I felt pride in the completion of my journey as I walked through the gates of the compound, passed into our building, and pressed the “up” elevator button that would dutifully take me the twenty-four stories up to the program house. I boarded the elevator and watched as each floor passed by. The doors opened, and my day began.

From the rainy streets of Kunming,

P.S: I wrote this yak almost a month ago when we were still living in Kunming, but have just finished editing and am posting it now. Appologies for the delay :).