Thoroughly Alive

We must hunger after the beautiful and the good...


Here in Manitou

We are having that rare (oh please Lord, keep it rare) phenomena in Colorado of awful, just awful heat. I'm either going to fall asleep in sheer over-heated misery or write a blog post, so cheers! Here I am. I'm working at Summit Semester these days, living in a tiny cabin halfway down a hill that leads straight into the quirky town of Manitou Springs. You never know what music you'll hear strummed by someone on the hot sidewalks in the late afternoon, what voices will drift up at night under the diamond stars, who will be high, or what the fickle weather will be. But oh, it's a lovely town. And ah, this is a lovely life. I'm so enjoying myself. I blink and two weeks have passed. But they are such good weeks, crammed with a wealth of community and learning and jaunts into the lovely unknown. I am the staff mentor to five delightful girl students. We live in two tiny, but darling little cabins with a flowers and chairs jumbling the porch, and a view of the mountains just beyond. Along with the two guy students, we spend our mornings in class (debating everything from just-war theory to Lewis' ideas on romance), our afternoons in solitude, or reading (these diligent students have three Lewis titles and another stack on politics, virtue, and character to finish before they are done!), exploring a new hiking trail, sipping cold coffee down in Manitou for one-on-one discipleship, digging mulch (once-a-week work crews), discussing Why Beauty Matters (click here for a link to Roger Scruton's marvelous documentary) before a trip to the Denver art museum,  or reading Peace Like A River up on the porch of our director's house, watching the sun set over the bowl of the valley and the bony ridge of the hills.

I am vastly thankful to be here. To love well. To learn much. To see, see, see every atom of beauty around me.

Since that exhausts my current capacity for coherent thought (not much when I want to die from heat), I now offer you a few snapshots from life here in the cabins in the green mountains. I hear its supposed to get cooler next week. Maybe even rain. By then, I should be able to string words coherently once more. Until that time, enjoy the pictures.


Sunrise as spotted from my rocking chair on the teensy front-porch of our cabin. The flower basked was a birthday gift from my sister. I feel I should get an award for keeping it alive thus far.


First night: three cabins set and ready, seven students arrived, and five raccoons waddling up the sidewalk.


Red Mountain - my morning view as I walk.


A glimpse indoors - looking into the kitchen. I love our little grey-walled rooms. The windows are always open.


Rocking chair for the heat of the day. Prop your feet on that rail, nod to the passersby as they trudge up the walk below (and wonder, as we do everyday, if our lungs will give out before the top), and sip a cold something. Best hour in the world.




My cabin.


Down this steep little trail is the village of Manitou. Soon as I finish this blog, I'm traipsing straight down.

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On the porch of "the manor." About to read Peace Like A RiverI'm readying my very best voice to interpret Swede, the little-girl cowboy poet who is one of my favorite characters in the book.

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Three of the lovely girls. Laughing because Dr. Bauman just caught them sounding outrageous.

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Frozen lemonade with fresh mint. Taproot Magazine (have you all read this? it's splendid!). What I plan to drink and read in... ten minutes?




Sunset. Glory.

Oh, and if you want to hear about our jaunt to the art museum on the official Summit Semester blog, hop on over here.

For now, may cool wind and sweet rain and all things summery, sweet, and chill attend your day.