Friday, June 30


"And this is something I remember very well. At first I thought I saw the sun setting in the east; I knew where the east was because the sun was just over the horizon when we got there that morning. Then I realized that what I saw was a full moon rising just as the sun was going down. Each of them was standing on its edge, with the most wonderful light between them. It seemed as if you could touch it, as if there were palpable currents of light passing back and forth, or as if there were great taut skeins of light suspended between them. I wanted my father to see it, but I knew I'd have to startle him out of his prayer, and I wanted to do it in the best way, so I took his hand and kissed it. And then I said 'Look at the moon.' And he did. We just stood there until the sun was down and the moon was up. They seemed to float on the horizon for quite a long time, I suppose because they were both so bright you couldn't get a clear look at them. And that grave, and my father and I, were exactly between them, which seemed amazing to me at the time, since I hadn't given much thought to the nature of the horizon. My father said, 'I would never have thought this place could be beautiful. I'm glad to know that.'"
(from Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson)

This morning, I had breakfast with three teachers from the English conversation office. One guy had two teachers who are leaving, plus me, over. It was nice. We talked about a range of things, from one person's dream job to what's best about going home to American politics. Afterwards, I went for a quick walk up the hill behind our school and back. I like to do that every once in a while just to remember how beautiful this place is. We have beautiful rolling hills that lead up to small mountains in the distance. Corn fields, wildflowers, villages in the valleys. It is a picturesque place in the summer. Everything is varying shades of green on a sunny day, and in the evening, especially when there's the possibility of a rainstorm, the mountains turn into a hazy purple shade with deep blue gray skies behind. Sometimes when I'm eating lunch in the cafeteria, facing the window, on a sunny day, I'm reminded. Or, sometimes when I'm walking from the office to my room and I remember to look around at the landscape, I'm reminded. I'm thankful to live on this hill, in this place that I didn't know would be beautiful, and I'm glad to know that it is.

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