Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details

Deep in the heart of … reunion



Fifty years ago, I was the only kid in my neighborhood with a snowsuit (perhaps the only kid in town who owned one) when a freak snowfall arrived in El Paso, Texas.

Our military family spent a year there while my father was stationed at Fort Bliss before we moved to a place where snow’s more familiar – all the way to Germany. Each school day in the village where we lived, my older sister got up before dawn to make the hour’s journey to the American high school in Würzburg. Marienberg_wuerzburgLike many military kids, she made sacrifices — but she also got to have her senior prom in a castle. How cool was that?

Somewhere in the vicinity of that high school lived a boy named Jonnie Ring, who would grow up to be the man I married. He had his own military-kid stint in El Paso, too, though his came after his family returned to the U.S. from Germany.

Almost from the beginning, our lives seem to have entwined, on two continents. We both love Germany and return every chance we get, but this week has brought an interesting confluence that finally merges Germany and Texas for us once again: my sister’s Würzburg American High School reunion in San Antonio. Somehow, the Alamo, an abundance of schnitzel, and a lot of happy memories – and awfully nice folks — have all come together in one place. Alamo_1956_9c

Reunion with “Brats”, whose lives took shape all over the world, is a grace, because at last, after decades of wondering, “Do I fit anywhere?” I remember: the ‘tribe’ I’m from is at home in the whole world. The echoes of that world, the resonance of what you experience in places all throughout this planet, is with you always. Like the eternal gifts that travel with you in your heart, they are never lost.

And every once in a while, life surprises you by bringing a whole bunch of them together again.

10 thoughts on “Deep in the heart of … reunion

  1. Liked your blog on reunion! Am enjoying your blog very much. I need to set one up soon too I think…..love, Julia

  2. Phyllis, this commentary brings up thoughts about my own life journey and how I find myself in such a different place from my high school classmates who never left home, while I traveled all over everywhere and picked up bits and pieces of culture, beliefs and ways of thinking that ultimately brought me to where I am today. I often wonder how it is that some people recognize the patterns of change and ride that wave and others are swept under and destroyed by it. I really identify with what you have expressed here and thank you for it!!

  3. Your posting seems very relevant to me as I feel I am on two continents right now, and it’s great to have the perspective of one who has been there and done that. Thank you!

  4. Phyllis, it was such a pleasure to have you be part of our group. It really emphasizes that the glue that holds us together is the shared experience. Hope we will see you and Tracey next time.

  5. Pheeelees!!!!!!!It was such a great pleasure getting to know you and Jon,even tho we only had such little time-I feel the bond!!!!!!Ironic how our lives have interwined!!Welcome to the family!!!Hugs,greetings and love to Tracey!!!!

    • Hallo Irma! Ich fand meinen Namen noch einmal, von Dich! Ich fühle mich sehr geehrte Frau Geis lächelnd auf uns. Vielen Dank für diese herzliche Aufnahme in eine wunderbare Familie. 🙂

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