And Then The Oxen Crossed The Ford, So They Called It Oxford
22 April 2014
- High Street from Magdalen Tower -
- St. Mary's church from High Street walking towards Cornmarket Street -
- Radcliffe Camera -
- Brasenose College - the one that I was associated with. -
- a slice of Stanford House -
I half felt like a fraud putting this post up with these pictures in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I was smiling the entire time I went through and edited these photos. They bring to me so much joy. But at the same time, I look at them and other, somehow truer images fill my mind - silent little films that flash briefly, so briefly that I'd miss them if I let my mind wander for a split second.
These pictures that you see, I took them the week before I left. After a whole three months of putting off taking my camera around and snapping candid moments, I decided on a whim one afternoon to do it before it was too late. So I grabbed my camera and spent two hours walking around the central part of Oxford, trying to capture some of the sights that I saw every single day. Oxford is the most special place - it is its own distinct blend of academia, tradition, old world charm, and history. You arrive thinking you're on the set of a period film (they are in fact frequently filmed here).
That afternoon couldn't have been more beautiful. The sun was shining - a rare moment - but not harshly at all. It was more like a gentle kiss on the hair, just warm enough to absorb without it being overbearing. The grass was lush and bright after a winter's endless storms and ready to be grazed upon by the deer parks' own. The rivers had finally lowered, so the sidewalks were un-muddied. I explored parts of Oxford that I hadn't had a chance to before.
But the thing is, as picture-perfect as that afternoon was, the pictures that I treasure the most are actually those brief mental flashes. Of cocktails in lounge chairs and meeting new friends, of meals in old, historical dining halls - although I am happy to have left the tasteless peas and carrots and cabbage behind - of coffee runs every single morning and milkshakes in the afternoon (including one in which I fell down a mini flight of stairs and managed to keep my coffee from spilling), of wanting to rip our hair out while essay-writing, but finding it okay because we were in the middle of a library older than our entire country. I cherish the evening trips to go hunt down Kinder Buenos, and movie snuggles, and the half price sushi at Itsu. It's the countless photographs captured carefully not by a lens but by my mind and my heart. That's Oxford to me.