Jenna Griffin loves foreign music, old cookbooks, public transportation, and sunsets in new places. After graduating with degrees in writing and French, she is spending her first post-grad year as an English teaching assistant in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France.

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Meal With Five Strangers

I am the fifth stranger here, and perhaps the strangest of them all. I am passing through this place. This will be my only night in the city, and then I will be gone.

If God is Love

Your body is not your enemy. And if you think it is, then treat it like an enemy: love it. Do good to it. Bless it. Pray for it.

Crocuses

Still, I’ve never felt the same level of attachment in any of these places that I’ve felt in Romania. When I step off of the plane in that country, it feels like I’ve come home.

Last Days

In your last days in this little town, you will start to see things as you saw them in the first days.

Bloom and Grow

I think when we look down on children it’s because we have momentarily, or perhaps chronically, forgotten that little kid inside earnestly whispering, “Don’t forget me. I’m still here.”

This Was the Year of Living

This was the year of living with my parents, with my best friends, with a stranger. This was the year of mint tea and French TV shows, of cooking for my friends and of touching the North Sea.

Crying on Public Transit

Eventually you have to look these fears in the face, and you have to sit with the things, both true and false, that you believe about yourself.

First Person

You are always you, always becoming you. You’re always your own first person, over and over and over.

Autumnal

I learned to love the fall, to really love it, at the foothills of the French Alps, in October, two months after my friend drowned in Lake Michigan.

Works of Light

The light pooled on the horizon, stretching like taffy, growing and receding. When it faded away in one direction, we looked behind us to see it growing in another corner of the sky. It seemed to breathe.

You Look Happy to Me

They’re not always noble or pure, but then of course neither am I. We try our best, and sometimes people climb mountains just to see us blossom in the cold.

Fragments of an Education in Zion

Though they stay with us in a way, miracles do pass. The mountain disappeared almost as quickly as it had come, the sun set quicker than we imagined it would, and we had far to go in darkness.