All Posts By

Debra Rienstra

Essay

Pitcher’s Thistle

We chose the perfect day to hike the Dune Climb Trail at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore: seventy degrees, light breeze, a little gauzy cloud cover softening the sun. On a hotter day, this would have been a baking, miserable trek,…
Calvin College
Essay

Climate Fiction: Three Vectors

As you spend a few last hours this summer in your Adirondack chair under a shady canopy of leaves—with that feeling of autumn’s imminence causing you to contemplate decline, aging, and the end of civilization—you might consider distracting yourself with…
Calvin College
Essay

One Day on the Mount

Do not worry. I get it. You’re trying to be gentle and reassuring and I appreciate that. I do. But you realize I have anxiety/depression, right? Runs in the family. Fairly mild, and I’m managing it in all the proper…
Calvin College
Essay

The Semiotics of Protest: A New Primer

Since we have entered the Age of Resistance, it’s important to keep one’s protest muscles well-toned. With all the marching, kneeling, standing, sitting, walking out, gesturing, and pumping of hand-lettered placards up and down—not to mention furious typing on Twitter—ordinary…
Calvin College
Essay

Birdsong

Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they utter knowledge. – Ps. 19:2 One evening last winter I was startled out of a quiet moment of meditation when an owl started hooting outside my bedroom window. It…
Calvin College
Essay

The Privilege of an Inner Life

In some of my earliest memories, three-year-old me enters a cavernous room filled with light and lined with books: the Bridge Street branch of the Grand Rapids Public Library, where my mother took me for regular visits. I would emerge…
Calvin College