Sewing Machine

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,  some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.  I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.  Elizabeth Bishop, from “One Art”   The sewing machine came from downstairs. Also Americans working in missions, our neighbors have been in Europe for decades, so I correctly guessed that she…

A Place Between: Thoughts From a Refugee Camp

The the students and the rest of the staff have already gone by the time I’m ready, with coat and lunch, to head over to our work site for Impact Day 2017. This is the fourth annual Impact Day at Black Forest Academy, for which we give up a day of classes to do service projects in…

Hands and Voices

After the months of his pursuit of her, now they meet face to face. From the beginnings of the world his arrival and her welcome have been prepared. They have always known each other. Wendell Berry, from “Her First Calf” Needle-sharp stars in a black-ice sky. Snow crunching underfoot, clinging to branches that glow grey…

Candles and Community

The house is cold at dawn. I wake and build the fires. The ground is white with snow. from “IV,” Wendell Berry On the night our daughter is supposed to be born (the “supposed to” determined by an oh-so-precise countdown that started way back in February), we have no electricity at Snoqualmie Pass. We’re actually more than…

Our Time Machine

Highway 20 is a time machine. An east-west corridor a few roads north of the bustling Interstate 90, along which we now live, Highway 20 is less traveled than the freeway, which goes eventually to Boston, and also than Highway 2, which goes to the faux-German village of Leavenworth and various other agricultural destinations. Highway 20…

Shorts

“The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there.” Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer It’s been a summer of changes. We’ve slept in four different time zones, moved to a zip code neither of us has lived in before, and begun the process…

Where We’ve Landed

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. John Muir, “The Yosemite” After a supper of delicious hamburgers with my parents, I leave the chalet half an hour before sunset, turning right to walk up our short road…

Our Villages

“Raise your hand if you ever taught me in a Sunday school class,” Timmy requests on Sunday morning. I’m sitting in the front row of a fiercely air-conditioned sanctuary, shivering while outside the temperature climbs to 90˚ F before 9:00 AM. I’m not in Germany anymore. Where I am is Virginia Beach Community Chapel, Timmy’s home…

Four World Cups {And Kandern, My Home}

I confess, I wasn’t watching when they scored the first goal. Distracted by the coolness of the German away jerseys–red and black blocks that take me straight back to Ballard High School–I was doing some online shopping when the pub erupted, reacting to Thomas Müller’s clean shot past Brazilian keeper Júlio César. “Ahh, I missed it!” I…

To The {Book} Fair

…I’m coming to get you, I hissed, as I entered the library like a man stepping into a freight elevator of science and wisdom. “The Literary Life,” Billy Collins It’s a busy Friday night at Black Forest Academy. Upstairs, the junior varsity boys basketball team plays one of their last home games of the season….