The muscles in my back complain of the weight in my backpack. I roll my shoulders back and feel the stretch as I walk. I weave and wind through the traffic on campus, pausing as bicyclists cross in front of me, sidestepping those on foot, and cringing when I heard the grinding of long board wheels behind me as I say a silent prayer that those wheels will avoid a collision. It’s a giant maze of everyone on his or her own daily journey. Sometimes, I imagine each person leaving a trace of color behind as they move around campus throughout the day, creating a masterpiece of woven multi-colored paths, each with a unique human identity attached.
The city can seem to be a big mess of never ending chaos, and yet, there’s still rhythm and harmony amidst the turbulence. I try to hold onto that truth, and I truly believe that this harmony is what gives the beast of metal and concrete beauty. As I reach the intersection, a red hand across the street stops my journey momentarily. Others join me and we wait in like-minded silence as the wave of cars pass. The traffic light turns yellow and the sound of engines slow. Here, here is the beauty of the city. This quiet moment, where the cars passing before me all slow down, signaling my time has come to cross the street. I’ve heard this so many times that my body unconsciously begins to react, muscles tensing, as the noises of engines slow, then stop. Quiet, with only the faintest sound of fans spinning as the motors stall. Quiet, like the pause before releasing the pent-up air after taking a deep breath of air. Quiet. The city exhales and silence is broken by a loud, continuous beeping, alerting those waiting that we can finally move again, continuing further into the journey of our day.