Admont Library, Austria
Of all the great monastery libraries of the eighteenth century, Admont, in the foothills of the Alps, is perhaps the most awe-inspiring. The corridors and staircases that lead to this room are relatively plain and nothing prepares the visitor for the space that is revealed when the doors are opened. At 236 feet long and 43 feet wide, the library is one of the longest monastic libraries ever built. Even the portable library steps are Rococo in design. Originally the collection was rebound in white leather to match the walls. There are no desks to work at because these library rooms were never intended for study. The books were taken back to the monks’ warm cells to be read. This room was always just for housing and showing off the collection and not for study.
Guys, I just got this HUGE burst of excitement for the future. It really doesn’t make any sense, because right now I’m dragging myself through the mud trying to force myself to study for finals, and you would think that would be enough to make anyone lose all their joy for living. But I can’t help thinking…
I can’t wait to start running again over winter break. I’ve missed it so much; I can’t wait to build up to that point where I can run for miles before stopping. To feel the cold air rushing around me and feel like every nerve in my body is a live wire. To have that one song come on my iPod that makes me want to sprint to the finish because I can, because I’m alive.
I can’t wait to travel the world. I can’t wait to see all the sights that I’ve dreamt about, the sights that I gaze longingly at through the posters hanging up in my room.
I can’t wait to fall in love. Not just with my future husband, but with places and books and friends.
I can’t wait to share my joy and love with everyone around me. I can’t wait to make other people smile. I can’t wait to do good deeds, to compliment someone, to smile at a stranger, or to simply say, “It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?”
Because it is a beautiful day. Because every day is a beautiful day if you so choose. Because this is life, and we are living it.
And that is BEAUTIFUL.