Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


Coming home by heart

Kitzentor21538697_10152305884857641_1827432945_nI’m back in Wertheim, my old hometown, where I lived 50 years ago high on the hill above town in a place called Peden Barracks.

Back then, the Cold War meant there were whole parts of Germany my family couldn’t travel to. Today, irony of ironies, the building I lived in is home to families who came to Germany about 20 years ago as refugees from parts of the former Soviet Union.

Wertzug1897981_10152217920057641_2099791820_nEach day, I listen for the church bells, or the latest train arriving at the nearby station. As this is my primary means of travel right now, I’m extra-aware of trains.

As I’m out and about in the marketplace, I can have a bit of a conversation with someone in German when I don’t over-think things. My German seems to work when I don’t think about it too much.

My writing days are assisted by fresh Brötchen with good butter and miles-long walks. The walks don’t feel miles-long because I’m exploring and looking at so many things, a kind of imbibing that’s even more enjoyable than each morning’s coffee and good Brötchen.

After a tasty dinner at the restaurant up at the castle the other night, things looked truly beautiful as I gazed out from on high. The church bells near the market square were tolling their 6 o’clock symphony and the moon was near the horizon. 10-15-2011-Wertheim-castle

I’d had another day of productive writing hours, which is why I let myself celebrate with that dinner. Each day begins with the sun’s light, and draws to its close with the moon rise, and my heart feels very thankful for this rhythm of life.

Each night, I “ask” — put my request for help down in writing in the novel’s journal.

Then, I wait to see what comes each day.

It’s a reassuring and reinvigorating process — good practice for the rest of life, too.