On finding roses in winter

Feb 13, 2021
The Pacifican

By: Liliana López

The Pacifican’s Editor Liliana López writes about her time on campus during the pandemic. 


There is something to be said for a great machine that does self maintenance, keeps itself well oiled, and has no quibbles about being left unattended to. It knows well the moods and seasons of those who use it, making sure to always put on the best of appearances in case they come by. 


That is a little like Pacific during quarantine. After being away for months I came back here, half expecting it to look kind of like me. A little disheveled, but still acceptable; grass tumbling long across my shins the same way my hair falls down my back; and the lawns scattered with this and that, like how my own life is scattered with books. Instead, I found it the way it’s always been: stately and in a good order. I’d like to think that they keep mowing the lawns and sweeping the pavements to make us smile and feel some sense of longing when we visit, though they probably just do it for the admissions pamphlets. 


I live here now. It is strange because there is hardly anyone here, yet that quiet hum of Pacific continues. I can hear the cogs turning, the axle moving back and forth with the graceful and mathematical precision of technology. I said earlier that Pacific is like a well oiled machine, but it is also like a no-nonsense Atomic Era housewife who believes you should set your hair and wear your pearls, even if you’re just going to be staying at home anyway. 


Immutability can be comforting, I’ve found. Everything during the pandemic has been so rushingly different, but Burns Tower still plays Chopin sometimes when the big hand of all our clocks (PST) is on the six. Pacific’s rose garden is a photoshoot bonanza for anyone within a 50 mile radius and, even if it is winter, the roses are still here.