The above quote comes from Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts by Joseph v. Eichendorff, a German romanticist. As I recently re-read this wonderful piece of literature, this line stood out to me. I contemplated moments when I, like the Taugenichts, also felt to say this phrase.
One such duration in my life came as I dated my wife. At that time it was always “mir . . . wie ein ewiger Sonntag im Gemuete.” The sun seemed warmer, the world seemed kinder- indeed heaven itself seemed to be smiling down on me.
The other day, walking through autumny colorful leaf-strewn Ann Arbor, I felt a similar feeling. My time in Ann Arbor is coming to an abrupt end when I graduate from Law School in just under two months. Life here has been good- we have learned and grown so much. Two of our three children were born here. Andrea and I both got a lot of experience in life, in the Church, in education, as parents. All in all, we feel as though heaven itself has been smiling down on us during our final life-preparatory time here in Ann Arbor for the last nearly five years.
Thus, although a beautiful autumn is underway, both in the air and in the duration of our time remaining in Ann Arbor, I felt compelled to say in my heart as I walked campus the other day that “mir war [meine Zeit in Ann Arbor] wie ein ewiger Sonntag im Gemuete.”
Indeed, as Eichendorff’s character sings in the next few lines:
Wem Gott will rechte Gunst erweisen,
Den schickt er in die weite Welt;
Dem will er seine Wunder weisen
In Berg und Wald und Strom und Feld.
Den lieben Gott laß ich nur walten;
Der Bächlein, Lerchen, Wald und Feld
Und Erd und Himmel will erhalten,
Hat auch mein Sach aufs best bestellt!
*note for those who don’t read German:
“mir war es wie ein ewiger Sonntag im Gemuete” = To me, it felt like an eternal Sunday in my countenance.
My translation of the poem, however, would not do it justice.