A poem about welcome guests…
Like an early fall of festive snow
Sent from a flat, blank sky;
Bringing a gentle, momentary reshaping
And bright retouching of our world.
An altered light and shift in sounds;
A different music to our ears.
Old things recast and seen afresh;
New footprints and angel-wings on familiar ground.
The everyday briefly suspended;
A borrowed grace, all too quickly gone –
Leaving us wistful, wishing for more
But enriched, and warmed right through.
This week, we’ve had the privilege and pleasure of being a host family in a long-established, highly successful exchange between the music department at our daughter’s school, and its counterpart at a school in Germany. As is customary, the visitors performed alongside our youngsters in the town’s main church at our school’s Carol Service, which is open to the whole community (it’s also recorded live by the local radio station, which then broadcasts it on Christmas Eve). It’s always a wonderful, moving occasion, made all the more poignant this year by the dreadful events in Berlin, which had unfolded the previous evening. Our guest (whose family generously hosted our daughter on the exchange’s ‘away’ leg back in July) was absolutely delightful and quickly became part of the household; we’re already looking forward to seeing her again this time next year.
Frohe Weihnachten, one and all. N.