Winter Warmth

 And in the humid ever-summer I dare his picturing mind not to go back to the shout of color, to the clean rasp of frosty air, to the smell of pine wood burning and the caressing warmth of kitchens. For how can one know color in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold…

Things (And Mostly People) That Made Life Better This Year: 2012 Edition

Black Forest Academy–this ever-changing community of staff and students that flow in and out of this little valley on the edge of the dark hills–is a place of tradition. Do something once, whether it’s dumping someone in a pond on their birthday or granting crazy Christmas wishes, and it’s likely that you’ll be asked to…

Do It Yourself

“What are you supposed to be?” Everyone, Fall Party 2012 Emily and I walk back to school Friday night, partially costumed as our respective favorite things. That’s the theme of this year’s High School Fall Party: Our Favorite Things. All students and staff have been instructed to dress up as… essentially anything. Anything that we…

Moving In

We didn’t always live on Mango Street. Before that we lived on Loomis on the third floor, and before that we lived on Keeler. Before Keeler it was Paulina, and before that I can’t remember. But what I remember most is moving a lot. Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street We finish just before lunchtime, then prepare plates…

Getting Rides

“And how are you different now, since moving to Germany?” asked a long-time friend, three days before I returned to Kandern for my third year at Black Forest Academy. “I think I’ve learned the most about living in a community,” I replied, thinking about the richness of the last two years in the intimacy of…

Reading Every Word

“There is much beauty here, because there is much beauty everywhere…” Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet There’s a moment in the first installment of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, when Sam pauses at the edge of a field full of sunflowers, a few steps behind his hobbit companion, Frodo. “If I take…

The Love We Share: M-Trip Sunday

We’re on the sixth slideshow when my roommate, Emily, leads her team to the front of the auditorium. The mostly-female team are all wearing the shapeless, colorful dresses that they wore for their week in a Central Asian village. This, along with covering their hair and serving the three men who accompanied them, was their…

A New Square Inch

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15 I’m sitting near the back of the auditorium on Friday afternoon, again looking over the tops of my students’ heads as the Chapel speaker weaves to the front of the room, carrying a microphone. After a few words of introduction he begins…

Now I Know in Part

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” I Corinthians 13:12 From the back of the gym, I look over a sea of heads to the stage, where our speaker for…

On Basketball

“Y’all ready for this?” asks the sound system on Friday night, the classic 90s warm-up playing just underneath the percussive arrhythmia of bouncing rubber balls and squealing rubber shoes, all three sounds telling us one thing: the Game is about to start. When the pre-game clock runs down to zero, most of the students in…