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…

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Halloween, 2011. On a clear and frigid evening in the city, we’d walked from the newer shopping district of Klein Basel across the Rhein River, and up narrow, cobblestoned streets to ancient Groß Basel, looking medieval with its cathedrals and leering timbered houses. At the top of the hill, in comical contrast to the severe flying…

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…

My Doorways

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald This quote, snatched far out of context from a tense scene of The Great Gatsby, makes its rounds every September. And while I agree, as much a lover of fall as any girl who likes sweaters, hot drinks and orange leaves, for…

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…

Bigger Places

“There are bigger places out there than Kandern…. And thank the Lord for that.” BFA 2015 Valedictorian The morning of graduation day at Black Forest Academy, I received a message from a  former BFA student. “Did you go to Ballard high?” he had written beneath a picture of my alma mater. After confirming that yes,…

A Sunset

…But I didn’t want to say the heart breaks, even though I know it’s true & the breaking can be a good thing sometimes, like the way my heart shatters a little each time I think of my friends & how lucky in life I’ve been to get to know them, to have had the time…

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 That Made Life Better This Year: 2014 Edition

A frigid New Years’ Day, and I’m sitting by our front window, watching the sun set over the leafless hills that stand between the evergreen Black Forest and the vineyard-striped Rhine River Valley. A post-Christmas storm has left our town icy cold and snow-covered, so we’re enjoying these glowing pink and blue days before the…

Only If

I wasn’t going to lead a small group this year. I remember this Thursday night, as I climb the stairs of one of my senior small group girls’ homes, ready to partake in the birthday feast that the girls have prepared for me and my co-leader, Allison, whose birthday is one day before mine. Earlier…