Thursday, 16 June 2011

Symbolism on a stressful day

I had forgotten how stressful taking exams can be.  You know, the sleepless nights tossing and turning leading up to the Big Day. The worry, the pressures of time and whether you have read the right material. What questions will come up and will you be able to answer them.

Boy, it is a high pressured time.  The morning of my exam I was indoors, trying to revise, last minute revision on the one hand and an eye on the clock on the other.  How much time did I actually need to walk into Southend, catch a train to Shenfield, change at Shenfield for Chelmsford and find an exam centre?  An hour?  Two hours?  somewhere inbetween.  The worry of not having enough time won.  I left early and decided that I would be better off finding a quiet place in peace, near the exam centre, than sitting at home trying to revise and worrying about missing the exam time!

Off I went, a mind full of cognitive therapy theories, psychology exam, famous people's names filling my brain with information that is truly mind-boggling.  A friendly person at Southend train station helped me find the cheapest ticket, the right platform, and explained the change at Shenfield, and the platform I would need there.  The walk to the train station has done my nerves good.  I have almost forgotten my fear as I galvanise myself to action.

I walk towards the stationary train and I a glimpse of black catches my eye.  Not a crow? Surely not, not in the train station.  But yes, there they are, on the track.  I rummage for my phone and attempt to catch a picture of not one crow, or two, but Four big black crows flying from the train track, up in front of me and onto an overhead line.  I smile to myself,  I tell myself that spirit are with me helping me on this little journey.

I share my train carriage with a teenager who spends most of the journey shouting on his phone about how awful his mum is, and how he is only going to college so that she can keep her tax credits because he is still living at home.  I thank my lucky stars that I have a son who wants to go to University and that hopefully he will be having that opportunity. I also thank my lucky stars that I am able to sit these exams.  The train journey, apart from the teenager, is smooth, peaceful, the movement of the train is soothing to my tired limbs.  Tired from not getting enough sleep, aching from the desperate need to be free from worry and stress. 

A change at Shenfield, down one set of steps, overtaken by commuters who all appear to know where they are going.  Up another set of steps and a little run to catch the waiting train.  Safely alighting in Chelmsford I decide the best thing to do would be to locate my destination and then find a nice quiet place to study.

The weather is absolutely glorious, the sun is shining, there is not an umbrella in sight.  Having located the exam centre I head off in search of a cool place to perch my achey feet.  The library seems like an obvious choice.  Unfortunately the Library is run by eskimos and they still have their heating on!  Cloying and claustrophobic, there is no way I can spend an hour in that temperature!  I ask the man at the help counter if he could recommend anywhere cooler, he suggests the Cathedral. 

The Cathedral?  of course, Chelmsford is a City, it must have a Cathedral.  Good idea, I head off, 100 yards along, hidden down an alleyway between a pub and some estate agents, there is a a Cathedral!  How beautiful, calm and serene amongst the hustle and bustle of a lively city.  I take a quick pic and head inside.  The building is like a fridge, cool, welcoming, refreshing relief from the warmth of the outside.  Sitting in the foyer I absorb the sense of history and I am grateful for the spiritual reverence that emanates from inside the prayer-sodden Cathedral.  I am sure if someone took an emp measuring device into that building, it would be flat-lined.  Such is the peace that flows out from the inside.  Sitting on a wooden pew and reading my books I cannot help but take a moment to fully appreciate the stained glass windows and the detail of the words written in colour and on the floor. 

Despite the sunny day, there is an umbrella leaning up against the pew across from me.  I take another pic, just in case any 'orbs' come up on my camera. As I am wondering why there is an umbrella in the foyer on a sunny day, my eyeline is drawn to the tip of the brolly and the feathers lying on a mat.  Feathers are my favourite thing to see when I am feeling in need of a spiritual pick me up and I am so pleased to see them that I mentally thank spirit, take a picture, just as a record of my coincidental journey and I head off for my exam.

I sit my exam, I wear myself out, exhausted, physically and mentally I make it.  I complete the exam in the allotted 3 hours and then I take the return journey home. 

Now there is a wait, until 5th August for the result.  I keep my fingers crossed, here's hoping.  But, if I don't pass, I know that I tried my best, and I enjoyed my day out.

Love and light to everyone who needs it.

Tamasin x

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