So, I did the normal thing, but not under my own power. There I was, bemoaning my surely-to-be-in-Michigan and oh-my-goodness-this-weather and however-shall-I-be-all-right-with-nigh-all-my-friends-on-the-move when suddenly I was extended the most marvelous of serendipities: a trip to Florida, a generous one — one that would leave my sore wallet mostly unexercised. On the wings of a dear friend's overwhelming hospitality and Allegiant Airlines I was transported into the extra-mundane world of spring break travel. There, in Florida, the land more flat than a lakebed, set loose from the extraordinary demands of academic rigor (indeed, licking my wounds from difficult tests), my whole self was graciously given a moment of simply being, detached from the normative considerations. No longer would the imagination be wholly donated to the next task at hand, no sir! Just blissful sleep, beautiful scenery, excellent company and (as is my custom in all places) delightful coffee.
Though the dorms of Calvin offer a wide range of faces and activities, I was amazed at the simple benefit provided in the occupation of somewhere new. Foremost in mind: gone the hum of HVAC, the distant traffic, and the minute sounds of so many people nearby, and entered the focus of silent mornings, wind-in-trees, bird calls. Conversation became an affair of tables with only four or five, instead a loaded one of twenty plus, and in everything the helpful reduction from enormous to manageable, noisome to still.
Freed from routine encounters, encountering serendipity was certainly freeing. Overall, the vitality of truly being embodied and alive in a new place among a loving family and an excellent friend bears itself in mind even now as I grow in re-knowing Calvin, having been away. And I do really believe it, because I have experienced it: Calvin loves having your return stories, conversations informed by so many abroad and so many local, my sun-tan and winter coat alike. In this place, the phenomena of travel — the ready bag, the absence of sharpened objects, a blanket and change of clothes together dwell with those of remaining — the protective roof, the precision tools of living, the bedstead and wardrobe.
It's Good Friday, and I think in some ways it is fitting to find that the yearning I feel between having gone and now returning finds best ground, truest footing in the Passion of Christ, as the hope I bear for home, for rest, and for what is valuable finds its end in Him. Though in the variability always being experienced in pain and pleasure, sorrow and happiness I find utter joy in His death for me. It is a sweet sorrow to bear in mind all I have done, am making, and will commit and omit against His name, and yet to be offered a gift like this. What a mercy, and what a place is made for me by such unfathomable suffering.
Though this is a college blog, and I share out of my experience in the hope that you will come here, I share our well-storied motto not to pump the tires of Calvin, but as a reflection of what I hope to be a universal worship and fitting praise to the God who has loved in all these things.
Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere.
My heart I offer to you Lord promptly and sincerely.