The bells rang this morning.
For those of you who don’t know, morning bells denote Mountain Day, the randomly scheduled holiday held on some nice day during fall semester. The president declares it at 7:00 one morning, and the bells ring to announce to the campus that classes are canceled.
There a few things like the rush of joy of waking up to the chiming of bells, bells that declare a surprise holiday. I had hoped that Mountain Day would be today, but I’ve always tried to not anticipate Mountain Day; I think that it works better when unexpected. In fact, I do my best to forget that it happens, which means that I can just be joyful when I wake to bells and know that classes have been canceled.
Today was a glorious sunny day with clouds racing by, one of the best sorts of Autumn days, crisp and a little chilly but warm in the sun.
I was very aware, as I lay awake listening to ringing tones through the open windows, that this year I am a senior. I probably will never again live in a place where surprise holidays are announced with the ringing of bells. I will miss it: the thrill of waking up, the walking out into the hallway to discover one’s neighbors running around rejoicing in various states of deshabille, the gleeful abandon with which most of the campus manages to take this day in both hands and run with it, putting off the stress and work for at least a few hours.
I didn’t go apple picking. I didn’t climb a mountain. But it was a good Mountain Day.