The Four Loves in Oxford

Over the past few weeks we’ve had many interesting discussions in Oxford. Most over the works of C. S. Lewis. Things like Miracles and The Four Loves. Speaking of which, I have developed a strong storgē for Oxford -a familiar, comfortable love.

The best mistake I have made so far was neglecting to get a bus pass the day I arrived. And the day after that, and the day after that.

Being forced to walk everywhere hasn’t made my legs the herculean pillars of marble I was hoping for, but this way I have oriented myself and discovered so much of this city. Walking gives yourself not only the freedom to ask “I wonder where this leads?” but also to answer that question.

I’ve learned how I can live alone and how I can’t. How lucky blessed I am in some particularly good relationships. If I could transport them here I would never leave.

Yes, I do miss my family.

Yes, I do miss my dog.

Yes, I do miss the farm -the bit of soil in which a bit of my soul will always be buried.

And I am excited about the things to come this fall.

But does that mean I’m ready to leave Oxford forever? Definitely not.

Oxford and I have just begun.
So many people have teased me about finding a British guy while I’m over here. Which I laughed at, because that’s what you do with a joke. Also, it takes me roughly two years to really open up and (like I said) we’ve been studying The Four Loves. And here I find something interesting. Lewis is right, falling in love is as different from staying in love as diving into a pond is as different from swimming. But both are important. Yet Lewis misses something. Sometimes there is no falling. Sometimes there is that gradual sidewise sliding towards it, until you find yourself  immersed and all you can think is “I didn’t mean for this to happen”.

Oxford, I had been warned about how you wouldn’t be all that I expected. I, as always, guarded my heart. But you were the one I gradually slid into.

I can’t help but always be irrevocably torn.

You have won me over with your flowery walks, your sense of calm, and your “unsociable hours”.


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