On this not quite month-aversary I found myself with a free Monday. No classes, only one article of homework left to read. And luckily enough, the sky was clear. The outsidey place was calling me when I woke up this morning. I’ve wasted too many days in the sun because I’ve been afraid of going out alone. But today, I decided to soak up the remaining vitamin D on likely one of the last 16˚ (60˚) days left to me.
Sitting here outside the coffee house in the city center, I feel so at peace. I feel like I’m wearing this city. Like I can claim it as mine. This afternoon, I wandered through the shops and purchased some necessities I’ve been lacking. And then I explored until I found something familiar – coffee. So I’ve spent the last few hours sitting out facing the street, watching the sun pass from one side to the other – a slow motion game of catch between the buildings surrounding me.
I’ve made friends with some pigeons, I’ve listened to the squeaky chains of the bicycles and the quiet chatter of the locals, I’ve read about Europe’s forays into teaching English in primary schools, I breathed in clean air (the cigarettes are mercifully lacking on this street). Jyväskylä has become a warm (lol but not for long), inviting blanket. It has wrapped itself around me and provided me safety; safety to explore, to be alone in a crowd, to observe.
And the best part has been, in the couple hours I’ve been sitting here, I’ve said hi to two people I knew as they walked by the coffee house. Jyäskylä may be a big city by Kansas standards, but it is cozy. It is home. I’m so thankful for all of its gifts.
“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.” – Psalm 29:11