Summit Semester Sonnet

 

My heart is set ablaze
When I get lost in the maze
Of memories, of days gone by
Inside I sigh, I break down and cry
I can’t have you all in one place
I cannot hold you in my embrace
There are no classes or homework due
And the stars in the sky are far too few

Ah, but all hope is not lost
Though every friendship has its cost
It is worth the price to correspond
To sharpen others and strengthen our bond
Now all are home and share what is learned
Forever in our memories is S2 burned

While it’s not my best work of poetry, it will have to do. “Re-entry,” as Thomas likes to say, has not been smooth due to circumstances out of my control. I feel like I came home a vastly different person – yet it is as if time stood still while I was away, nothing here has changed.

I feel older now, more responsible. I attempt to become/remain more mature than the many I find myself around… I have realized that few understand what I’m experiencing. People here think I’m the same, and indeed I’m tempted to fall back into the person I was before I left home in June. Those who met me this summer see me in a different light. A question I thought I had answered and left neatly packaged years ago has resurfaced: who am I?

Think about it for a moment: who are you? Did you return home changed? Do you find yourself pondering the good life and the good of life? Does it encompass a good love and end with a good death? Do you find the temptation to return to another way of life, another personality, or way of thinking? Do you have more questions now than when you left for Colorado?

I do. And I want answers… And somehow I think that the answers are found by simply living life where we are as the people we’ve become and are becoming. Though the temptation comes to wish we were in Colorado or with other people, we must remember Jim Elliot’s words, “Wherever you are be ALL there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be from God.” In the same manner, we must also give thanks in everything by prayer and supplication making our requests known to the Lord.

Being home, in the flow of life, in the midst of busy-ness, cell phones, internet, TV, music, movies, and a million engagements, we must remember to remain who God has shaped us into at Summit Semester. We must remember Sertellanges (*grins*) and his advice to reflect and seek solitude. We need to process what we’ve learned, who we’ve become, and how we can integrate those things into our not-so-tranquil lives. We must place ourselves alone with our thoughts – we must face them, not bury them under music or other distractions. And we must use what we’ve learned, else ten weeks, twenty-some-odd people/relationships, and copious amounts of wisdom and knowledge will be wasted.

How are you putting S2 into practice? I’m curious to know how your integration (or rude awakening) back into life has gone. What are you learning? How can we be sharing the lessons we’ve been taught?
Who are we?

><> Jody

Laying the Foundation

What glorious sunsets I’ve missed. Yet I’ve come from a land of incredible sunrises, aspen groves, pine trees, mountains all around, snow up to my waist, and a sky that makes the ocean envious of its blue – a sky that sparkles and shivers with stars so bright they burn into your mind. At least the stars stay the same…

I arrived home and I feel like nothing here has changed. I feel like a fish out of water, like an aspen away from its roots – I am away from home. I don’t know when I fell head over heels in love with Colorado, but it happened. There are so many good memories there, many stretching and trying experiences, many friendships built, many chances lost. Colorado holds so much wildness, rugged terrain, sun, and indescribable beauty.

Darkness is overtaking the last faint glow of red that was the sunset – a thumbnail moon hides behind bare tree limbs… I can hear traffic again, after being in a place of slow stillness. I can hear my phone ring again, when once I could hear my thoughts dance through my mind. But the one thing I long to hear and don’t are the voices of my friends… No people making a ruckus in the girls’ dorm, nor the sounds of the girls working in the kitchen, or Dave’s loud exclamations from the game room. I can’t smell the “poond” (well, at least there’s one good thing to say!), I can’t see the Milky Way, and I can’t walk down the Forrest Road whenever I please.

Yesterday I was in Colorado, today I’m down on earth again.

Though you can’t see the tears standing in my eyes, perhaps you hear them ringing through my words. My heart is finally allowing itself to grieve and the wound is deep. All is not lost, all is not hopeless: “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be from God.” A quote that refuses to go away, to leave me to mope and feel sorry for myself. I have lived! And richly so! I have been blessed with a season of learning and friendships that runs deep. That season is simply changing from Autumn to deck itself in the white garb of winter, a cloak that sparkles and shimmers despite the chill, and brings a gratitude for spring. I will live! And richly so! I will seize every moment and make the most of my time… And I will remember the blessings that have been graciously showered upon me by the Creator.

><> Jody