The motions are the same: a year rolls by with such thrills and frills that when one looks back at it, it looks so short, and one is left wondering just where all the days went. A school year begins in August and ends in May, or July depending on what one has to do.

For the two visiting scholars to this institution, their program is now over and they will return to their country in less than a week. I know this process. A roller-coaster year of both honeymoon and depressing loneliness comes to a certain end and the travellers are filled with the mixed feeling of longing for a long-left home, and missing a bond of affection with the present location. They will be gone and new people would come, and the process will continue, new bonds, and new departures a year from now.

I don’t envy them because my own time here will soon wind down to an end, sometime, again. I think it will become inevitable after some time – if I ever return here – to get inured to the process of bonding, socialization and departures. It might be time to set my sights to another faraway place, maybe Europe, or South America, or Asia, for a different breath of fresh air, languages and surprises. Then with new eyes to look at the world and events, there might be a different kind of thrill and adjustment processes. Just a thought. In any case, this semester will be over in a few days, and I’ll be left with the new dilemma of filling my time with a less exacting routine. Or not. We’ll see how it goes.

(Picture taken at the foot of the Monk Mounds the tallest of the man-made mounds at the old Mississippian heritage site at Cahokia Mounds in Illinois, yesterday.)

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