Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cool Incidents and Things I've Come to Appreciate

I've done bits of thinking over the past few weeks, and I've realized that a lot of cool things have happened lately, and there are many experiences and opportunities that I've come to appreciate during my time here.

Just tonight, I was walking from the dining hall to the Grille and I suddenly noticed a deer walking across the path. It just moseyed its way across the path and into some trees, and didn't pay much attention to me. And just last night, when I was walking to the dining hall, between the dining hall and Silver Sage and Aspenbrook Lodges, there were two deer on the semi-grassy hillside, simply walking across the hillside like it wasn't a big deal. On top of these two incidents, there have been a few times when I've been driving on SMR property and deer have run across the road a ways up the road. Being from Michigan, I see deer every now and then, but they still get my full attention when I come across them, especially when they're only 30 feet--or less-- away.

Last week Sunday morning after the chapel service, I ran into a guest that I had struck up a conversation with on the previous day. He was a fine gentleman from Texas, here with his four-year-old daughter and one of his friends. We struck up another conversation, and he went so far as to offer to buy lunch at the Grille for Bradon and I. We ended up talking until 2 in the afternoon. It was some of the best time that I've spent this summer, and I hope that I can keep in contact with this gentleman. I sometimes forget that things like don't often happen, but I appreciate the few times that they do.

I say it often--and I mean it every time--I don't think I could ever get sick of this scenery. Every time I see the sunset make a mountain ridge across the valley glow red, every time I walk in a mountain meadow, every time I look out and see the beautiful world around me, I have to take a moment to pause and take it in. I hope that in my last 3 weeks here (I'm here for two weeks after the program ends), I never fail to follow some advice I got from my boss: "Take a moment every day to appreciate the mountains." I like that, and hope that I never forget to do so.

Something else that struck me again tonight was the stars. It's incredible how many stars you can see from SMR, even with so many outside lights on around the property. There's so many, and I had to pause and just look up for a while tonight. I think I should do that more often.

One of the things I've come to appreciate the most this summer whilst at SMR is the connections I've built with Calvin faculty and staff members. My laundry list of faculty and staff members to stay in contact with just keeps growing and growing as each week goes by. I'm more and more starting to value and understand the wisdom passed on to me from Glenn Triezenberg: "major in professors." For my last two years at Calvin, I fully intend to do so. With the bits of spare time in my schedule, I intend to take classes and connect with good professors, not because their classes are within my focused areas of study, but because I can learn from them how to live life. I've already noticed the value of this, and I can't wait to continue the practice.

And with that, I shall leave a few pictures:

Devil's Thumb, with Nicole Steiger for scale.

Possibly my favorite picture of the summer. The goofy stuff, gotta enjoy some goofy stuff. Photo credit: Cari Vos.

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