It’s on days like today, after a week of irritatingly foul weather (pardon the previous snow rant!), that I come to profound realizations that go something like this:  “Huh?”  As in, “What have I ever done to deserve this?”  I was out on a walk this afternoon in the hills above Riedlingen, looking across the valley at roads snaking between lush valleys, leaning in to smell just-bloomed flowers and squinting up into the endless sky that reminded me of the infinite potential of every moment in which we move, think and breathe… 

Riedlingen valley

…and as I sat on a hillside bench before descending back into the valley where Riedlingen’s church bell peeled, I thought to myself that the beauty of this place is too often ignored by those of us who have been here so long that we get blinded by routine and desensitized by responsibility.  How often have I driven to school without once glancing at the mist rising over the glistening green hills?  How often have I seen children playing unattended in my neighborhood without acknowledging how safe–and therefore rare–this community is?  And how often have I dug my teeth into a flaky, buttery pastry without realizing that it…never mind–I’m usually acutely perceptive when it comes to food!  It’s the inedible side of life that sometimes passes me by! 

Riedlingen church

And how often have I rushed around BFA–wrangling poets into creativity, returning undeserved hugs, and trying very hard to appear just a smidge more mature that the average teenager–without truly being aware of the utter wonderfulness of these students whose greatest attributes are wit, depth, God-awareness, and a capacity for affection and loyalty I’ve never encountered elsewhere?

Talking with my small group on the castle wall in Nurnberg

I just wanted to take a moment, on this perfect evening when the stars remind me again that tomorrow’s Heavy-P (that’s for the writing class!) is limitless, to state as boldly as I can that I consider myself blessed beyond belief to live in a place most of my stateside friends will never see and to work with students most of my non-BFA friends will never know well enough to fully appreciate.  Thank you, God, for this life you’ve gifted me with…for this calling, this Joy, and this reward.

Nurnberg by night



  1. AMEN!

  2. I love it and I miss it.

  3. all I have to say is…I love you fellow Riedlinger!  hugs, Renee

  4. thppppppthh.  maturity.

    people talk about maturity and mean “sobriety”.  i don’t agree.  just because you’re youthful doesn’t mean you can’t accept responsibility!

    that’s silly.  you’re plenty mature; don’t worry about it.

    taelyr.  who stayed up until 3 a.m. with stargirl last night. 

  5. when are you going to post those pictures of the creative writing class?  i broke my back (almost literally) for those!

    boy, that’s my favorite class.  i don’t think i’ve ever even felt like falling asleep in there.  mostly because i’m pretty sure i’d never wake up…

    …actually, maybe i’d just wake up three weeks later in a hospital bed.

    taelyr.  who takes pictures of encounters with starpeople.

                   p.s.     for really.  i’m taking pictures. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *