Thursday night, after my final was done, the bathroom cleaned, and Sarah and I had raided our refrigerator for any perishable foods, I sat down with Esther and something just struck me.
"I can't believe it's been a year since our last winter break," I told her.
And I still can't believe it's been one year since the Fall 2007 semester ended. I know it sounds weird to calculate time in terms of breaks, and semesters, and that's not really how I look at time...but when I become nostalgic and I look back at the past 12 months of my life since last winter break, I am amazed at all the changes God has brought in my life.
There were incidences, good and bad, that occurred; incidences that caused me to despair (and in retrospect, I feel the despair was rather foolish) and incidences that have left me greatly perplexed. But they are just that. Those incidences (and there are many to recall) make up little markers in the chapters of our lives, and while they may bring us sadness, anger, or joy, the events still mold our character and help us to mature.
And I'm not done 'growing up' or 'maturing'...I still have a long way to go.
Coming home from Berkeley, I found myself poring over one of my favorite books of all time...A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle. I love that book, although there are some cliched and cheesy aspects of the plot (the protagonist confused over three guys is kind of...eh, though I think I can understand some semblance of the realism there), and I fell in love with the book when I was in eighth grade. Rereading the book again, I'm not sure why I was drawn to it initially. I couldn't exactly relate to the protagonist in terms of her family or her relationships with the characters in the book. Perhaps it was the themes of death and life that drew me in...whenever someone asks me what the book is about, I bypass the cheesy romance (though I do like the main male character, he's a complex and well-written character) for explanation and instead just say, "It's a book about how death is an affirmation of life." Because...that IS what the book is about, and it's simplistic theme (there are more complex themes layered within the pages) is one that really speaks to all ages, no matter how old or young you are, no matter how grown up or young at heart people perceive themselves to be.
I think I'm awfully fond of this book because I read it at a time where, while I could not completely relate to the protagonist in terms of her character and relationships, I was drawn to her plight of discovering light beyond the darkness. The basis of this book, apparently, was from this beautiful poem called "The World" by Henry Vaughan.
I saw Eternity the other night
Like a great Ring of pure and endless light
All calm as it was bright
And round beneath it, Time, in hours, days, years
Driven by the spheres
Like a vast shadow moved, in which the world
And all her train were hurled.
But nostalgia aside, I am looking forward to this winter break as a period of rest, relaxation, and enlightenment. And the reason for the title of my entry...I love that song. I'm not entirely sure why, but I love Amy Grant's version of this song. It's poignant and oddly heartbreaking. I never realized how mildly depressing this song could be with the lyrics "I'll be home for Christmas...if only in my dreams."
Listen to the song here. It's beautiful.
A few winter break goals...makes me wonder if I'll accomplish them since past experience has demonstrated my laziness over break:
1) Be consistent in my DTs
2) Read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
3) Read Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot
4) Reread I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris (very interesting book)
5) Make post-Christmas presents
6) Read a Jane Austen book (and since I've read most of them...I guess that leaves Sense & Sensibility? Though I tried reading that back in senior year and failed miserably...)
7) And of course...catch up with friends :-)
There are probably more, but I've forgotten them...
I watched this awesome miniseries this afternoon called Cranford. I'm a huge fan of period dramas (the BBC kind), and this one was no exception. I love Masterpiece Theatre's programs. Seriously, I'm glad there's no television in our apartment, but the only reason I think I would ever consider getting a television would be to keep up with BBC period dramas. Now if more movies could be like those...but they're not. I'll settle for the period dramas. :-)
1 John 1:5
"God is light, in him there is no darkness at all."
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