The Time To Be Slow

Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening, like a tree which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come. It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them,…

Miraculous & Mundane

No matter how far along our spiritual pilgrimage we may have come, we need to be shown time after time that humble ordinary things can be very holy, very full of God. We may hope for vision and revelations and wonderful experiences, forgetting that the context of the revelation of God to each one of…

Waiting for Spring

  This is the spot:—how mildly does the sun Shine in between the fading leaves! the air In the habitual silence of this wood Is more than silent: and this bed of heath, Where shall we find so sweet a resting-place? William Wordsworth, from “Traveling” I walked the woods for months, looking for it. In the…

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…

In the Dorm

  It’s quiet when they leave. When supper was finished, the younger boys washed the dishes and mopped the floor, while the older ones packed and I baked banana cake. Then, an hour later, we piled down the stairs and out to the parking lot, where we waved goodbye, Sound of Music style, to the seniors….

This I Believe 2012: Seasons

I’ve shared with some of you in the past that my students start each year with their own statements of belief, in the form of a “This I Believe” essay, modeled on the National Public Radio segment of the same title. With the start of school three days away, here’s a look into my teacher…

Capturing the Castle

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living…

Seasons

I’ve never been in Europe in autumn. I’ve spent several summers here, two weeks of winter, and one spring.  But all of my autumns, my favorite season of all, have been in Washington. I’ve come back to Austria for the weekend–truly just for Saturday–to attend the going-away party for Julie Johnson, a fellow instructor from…