For the last four days straight the sun has come out.  This is truly unusual, as in over three months we’ve only seen the sun about five times.  In addition to the sun, yesterday I saw blue sky.  I’m not lying.  You never see the sky here. Usually one can see a couple of blocks, then things recede into the smog.  There’s a constant haze which envelopes Chengdu, so it’s disappearance is notable.

It’s amazing the affect weather has on one’s spirits.  When it gets nice, it’s like a weight lifting off your shoulders.  Things don’t seem as bad.  A sense of optimism returns.  A fundamental happiness is revealed beneath the hard exterior.  It’s like cleaning a dirty window.  Not only has the sun been out, but it’s been in the 60s.

We’ve taken full advantage of this unexpected turn of events, doing tai ji in the outdoor sports complex, alongside students playing basketball and practicing choreographed dance moves; walking through the many gardens on campus, which are still lush this time of year; and talking to members of the Tibetan students association, who set up a display on a plaza and were eager to talk.

Suddenly it’s May in late November, and everything is alright.