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Of Shadows and Light: A Contemplative Journey on a Nordic Train

Student on train, gazing pensively out window, with Norway's news on laptop, a power bank, and old university club pin.
Kaia Thonul, Friday, November 3, 2023, 15:43

As I sit here on this Nordic train, it's a standard afternoon leaving Oslo, persistently chilled despite the sun's best effort to decorate the landscape with shadows. Rows of birch trees lining up outside the cold window pane punctuate the beautifully melancholic ambiance of the setting.

The trees are residual metaphors, casting shadows of my own thoughts. Just finished reading an article about Økokrim's decision regarding Norway's Prime Minister. The elite scandal, the bankruptcy and allegations; it isn't the best of reads after a day of exhaustive studies.

But as I watch the frozen woods blur into a hazy montage, my mind wanders back to the university, to the comfort of camaraderie, to the joy of being part of a club. If universities were uncertain oceans, these clubs are the tangible anchors.

A sense of belonging, the fraternity provides, is almost comforting, acting as a reprieve from the monotony of life. It is a sanctuary for those seeking kinship, those eager to discover themselves amidst the chaos of existence. The bond that's formed, the connections made, they illuminate the journey of youth. Being part of a club or fraternity sometimes feels like being part of an extended family, a home away from home.

The robust discussions, the shared laughter, the lightness of being, it all adds up to the allure of being part of something big, something significant.

Yet, it seems like these happy memories have plunged into the abyss of the past, in the shroud of a grey world outside my window. Recollections starkly contrasting the frigid alleys of today's reality, the balance seems skewed.

My phone battery, tragically leaning towards the end of its life, is somehow a reflection of my dwindling energy. It's in moments like this, I am genuinely thankful for the quiet genius of power banks. Able to store energy and deliver it when most needed, they've become an absolute necessity, especially for someone who spends a considerable amount of time on the move. Like a reservoir of endurance that you can tap into during dim moments, there's an appealing metaphor there.

They offer an escape, enabling the continuity of comforting distractions against the harsh realities of the world. A constant companion, holding within them the potential to power up the digital life we strongly rely upon, the little devices have become progressively significant.

Life has a peculiar sense of irony. As I navigate through this roller-coaster of emotions, wrestling between academic pressures and today's disheartening news – I'm reminded, much like the trees outside, we all have a cycle to follow. A surrender to the seasons, an acceptance of change.

We all grow, we all remain, and in doing so, we forge bonds and create memories. Whether in the jubilant embrace of a fraternity or alone in the dejected backseat of a train, we endure. That's the essence of existence, isn't it? A poignant ballet of joy and sorrow, courage and fear, of resilience.

As the train pulls into my station, I pack away these thoughts. And with them, I carry an appreciation for these finite moments, whether in the company of my club mates or in the solitary commute home. Both have their own unconventional beauty, both shaping me in their unique, inimitable ways. Today, I am dejected, but this too shall pass.

Tags: Nordic Travel university life power bank

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