This post was previously written for and published by Cornerstone Academy in the Fall of 2015.
My Shakespeare professor chanted the first lines of Beowulf in Old English to help us better understand the rhythm of Anglo-Saxon poetry. While I’d read the poem multiple times, I didn’t exactly have the first line memorized, but it didn’t matter. There was magic in these words I couldn’t understand and wouldn’t have recognized if you’d placed them before me. But the archaic words hailed something otherworldly, and my soul longed for it, though I couldn’t tell you what it was.
My grandma loved the outdoors. When I was little she would take me for walks around her backyard with her stopping to pull a weed or tell me the names of the bushes and flowers. As a teenager, summer meant that at some point Grandma would drive me to the Breaks Interstate Park. While we wound around what she called “kiss your butt” curves, she’d tell me stories about growing up in a coal mining town.