Cambridge Day 1 Part 2: “Time flows away like water in the river.” Confucius

What is punting? The way you answer that question is to share what punting is not.  It is not a gondola. It is not something you do in Venice. It is not a rowboat.

The official answer can be found at the link below:

https://www.puntcambridge.co.uk/a-brief-history-of-punting-part-i/

What is punting on Day 1 of Cambridge? After you find your way to your new home in the rain, you rush to change your clothes with five minutes to spare. You head (with a group of 20 undergrads and grad students) to a wine shop and load your purses with prosecco, cider, beer and wine. You hop onto a punt at Scudamores which is surrounded by touts. Touts appear to be young college men (our USF girls were most happy) who “tout” the tourists for business. There are rules on touting, which is a lost art in the UK.

Once you have your alcohol and friends, you gently load the punts and prepare for a glorious trip down the River Cam. Slowly, time freezes and you enter a world of history and majesty, and despite your exhaustion, the bubbles in your glass pop, fizz and whisper, “You are in England, on an ancient river, floating by trees and colleges, watching ducks bathe and waddle. You are in England, far away from traffic and stress. You are in England, experiencing a part of college you didn’t experience at age 22. You are in England at age 49.”

Time passes for us all. It flows away like water in a river. This year I reached the age  of my mother when she was diagnosed with cancer. I have made a conscious choice to harness the time I have now for experiences that will help me grow personally and professionally. Floating down the River Cam, I know I cannot stop the passage of time, but I can embrace this season of my life and slow down just enough to hop on a punt, sip some bubbles and let the tick-tock of time and stress of life sink to the bottom of the river.

 

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