Relishing in the Quiet

It’s been a few days since I landed back on German soil. The days are quiet and peaceful. A good night of sleep always prepares me for a productive day. The curiously cool weather is welcomed into my room by an open window as I sit clothed head to toe in sweats and fuzzy socks.

The cool breeze ruffles my self-appointed German homework as I prepare for my Beratung (Language Course Consultation,) and then that special kind of breeze hits me. You know the one. The one that comes only once a year on the Plains as you are decked head to toe in Orange and Blue ready to cheer on Auburn in the first home game of the year.

Nostalgia sets in and all I could do was smile. I loved my upbringing. There’s no greater place to grow up than Auburn, Al. Toomer’s Lemonade, singing songs of praise in the Brinkerhoff’s backyard, listening to Jim Fyffe call old Auburn games with dad in his truck, and saying War Eagle to that stranger who just became family. Those are things I’ll miss this year as I’ll be gone for yet another football season – away from Auburn and away from family.

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And nonetheless – even with a twinge of guilt/remorse/sadness comes unbelievable blessing. Tomorrow I will meet a friend in Vienna. A friend whom I met purely by chance at a church conference in March. And as I left the conference early to go to Greece, I placed a note on her pillow thanking her for her overwhelming kindness towards me, expecting to potentially never see her again and even so wanting to express the impact she had made on my life in such a short time. And yet as I landed in Greece, I opened my bag to find that she too had written me a letter and so the friendship was forged. The art of writing letters to one another is often forgotten – and what a shame for it shows time, commitment, and kindness – and yet to me, it is the easiest way to show someone that you really care.

Together we will walk the roads where Mozart walked, we will stroll the magical hills that Julie Andrews sang upon, and we will speak German til I can no longer think. She is one of the few friends who refuses to let me speak in English [but with absolute kindness!] She has done this because I have asked it of her and she has kept her word. Because of her commitment to help me, I’ve grown exponentially over these past months even without a German course.

I went to my Beratung today to confirm that the two levels that I signed up for would be appropriate for the level that I was at, though I was nervous that perhaps I had stretched myself a bit too far for the upper level course. As I finished the consultation, the teacher had recommended me for a half level higher than the highest one I had signed up for. Astonished and reduced to grinning, I happily packed my bag to change my registration one floor below. Easier on my wallet and filled with pride, I walked to a Turkish bakery, picked up some Baklava, and headed home to prepare for the Men’s AA Final tonight.

Tonight, my friend, Sam, competes in the Olympic AA Gymnastics Final. Ranked 7th after pre-lims (with a fall,) expect to see him on the medal podium if he manages to go through cleanly!

Good Luck Sam! Go Team USA and Forever Go Blue!

(This was right after our team one the National championship and after he won the AA title! Hoping for a repeat for him tonight!) 

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A new batch of postcards have gone out from Jane Austen’s home. If you want a letter or postcard from anywhere, as always, let me know!

Wishing you all many blessings and a breezy and beautiful day!

~Kens

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