Listening to Nicolas Simion’s jazz in Cologne, I felt an unexpectedly rush of joy.

Yesterday, walking with Blue through meadows thick with the yellow flowers of arrowleaf balsamroot, I plucked a couple of juicy three-toothed leaves of sage, pressed them between my fingers and brought them to my nose. The scent was a sharp as the yellow of the flowers. Standing there in the morning quiet, I heard the liquid call of a black-headed grosbeak, and then the sound of water burbling up out of a pipe or spring. As I listened, the sound came again, and then again. I looked up and found two black birds above me on a branch. One of them gurgled, just like water, and I was filled with joy again.

About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at
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