Dear Valley View at St. Mary’s Conference Center, Sewanee, TN,
Looking at you, that summer I was 15, before I’d ever kissed a boy or learned how to drive a standard transmission car, God whispered things in my ear that have been echoing over and over, in my head and heart, today. You were so lovely, that late afternoon and early evening, lush and green and full of summer. That was the week I learned to hang dry wall and install insulation, and to ALWAYS wear gloves, and measure twice. I remember the first time I saw you, and I was sad to have to go unpack my bags, because I just wanted to stay and look. I sat on the side of the hill, that one late afternoon and early evening and just pondered you. Really, I guess I was just starting to ponder my self, to have a real idea of who I thought I was, as my own person, but you were a lot easier to look at for three hours than a mirror. I have to go back and talk to that 15 year old, sometimes, and remind her that she doesn’t always have to get it right the very first time, that not knowing something is ok, that asking for help is as necessary as being a cheerful helper, that it’s all going to be ok. But those words came to me, through you, all those summers ago, from the very mouth of God, I do believe. And that is certainly worth saying thank you. So, thank you.