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Every image in this poem is so dear to me. I loved our sabbatical in Germany, and grew to love all the characteristic elements of the landscape around our temporary home. As the time to leave drew closer, I thought my heart would break to say goodbye to the beauty of this place.
Though it hurt me to do it, I sat down and let myself go over it all inwardly – allowing my feelings of love and loss to help stamp this place more completely on my being. Our little village church had, I realized, taught me so much about the way Church and society, faith and work, kairos and chronos, human family and the community of Christians fit together beautifully in the movement of time.
What I miss most is the lovely sense of having Mother Church in our midst, physically, of our daily lives – hovering just over us, in view always; calling us to come; giving us our part of the work; opening her heart to my family through the loving kindness of her extended family. I can’t help but think that there will be someplace like our Bavaria in the New Earth, where we can enjoy reliving our memories somewhat.
Nestled in patchworked, rolling hills
the humble townships hide.
Shy roads and signposts gently lead
across the countryside.
Spires rise to greet the pilgrim first
before the scent of bread.
Then sturdy, whitewashed, homespun walls,
‘neath scalloped roofs of red.
Welcoming, too, the rooster’s crow,
the glorious town pole.
Coffee and cake, a brat, an ale,
refresh body and soul.
Bells toll to bid us welcome Christ,
“He comes to meet you here!
Time out of time moves slowly, so
light candles, breathe a prayer.”
Faith, family, and honest work
become a liturgy.
Cradled beside dear Mother Church,
All the poems are now in one volume, and I’d love for you to have a copy! Click on the cover to buy it, and click here for the recordings of all the poems.