Before you wake up.

I had a dream last night that I was back in college. It was shady and cool out—maybe even a little warm, like when a temperate fall day is turning to dusk. Everything was still very green, the thick grass and the tall tress. I noticed that there was no snow yet, which made me feel it was the beginning of the school year, since snow is liable to blanket Evanston by October or November and stay as long as it likes, often well into the spring. I was walking back from Norris, the student union, across the heart of the campus between the language building and the library, and suddenly I realized where I was. I was still in college. I was still learning and taking classes. Just a moment ago, it seemed I was lost in thought and felt that I had some kind of job, but none of it was true, I realized. I was so elated by this discovery and so caught in the breath of life that I raised both of my arms in the air, like one would do in the very height of The Wave, and began running along the pathways of the Northwestern campus, feeling the cool air against my arms and admiring the buildings and the trees and feeling like I had embraced everything that I was living. I felt appreciation for my place in life bloom inside of me, like the air rushing between my fingers, and I was just so glad that I didn't take the moment for granted.