It has been eleven days since I left Laguna Beach, and California, my beloved native land. But I find myself in a high place surrounded by trees and birdsong, and I am home. Our new address in the Austin hill country is like a cross between Bluebird Canyon in Laguna and Mount Hermon, in the Santa Cruz mountains. We’ve been baptized by a mighty southwest thunderstorm, and we are home. The kids are playing with Brio trains on the floor (well, Aaron plays and Tovah sits and watches on) and we are home. My mother in law Mindy is preparing a delicious meal while I stand at the breakfast bar and type, and we are home.
To all of you who touched my life in California, I miss you profoundly and think of you often. To all of you who have blessed our move with strong arms and warm welcome, thank you, you are so wonderful! Most of all, to God my Savior, thank you. You have always been my Guide and you have brought us safely to this new haven. Your presence is the joy of my life. No matter where I go, You are the One who makes hearth and home.
The last Friday I was in Laguna, Pastor Jay Grant of Church by the Sea organized a beautiful send off. In the little “upper room” where so much of my life in Laguna began, Pastor Jay and others surrounded me with prayers and affirmations of love. I was moved by the remembrances of these dear people. Pastor Jay even brought forth a poem I wrote years ago – and forgot! What struck me was the way that the Upper Room and the people of Church by the Sea had been the catalyst for a whole period of my life in which I wrote poetry and plays, participating in the creative life of worship of a truly artistic church.
It seems fitting tonight, as we enter into Shabbat in this our new home, to share this poem with you.
Come East, Come West
(a psalm for the Bridegroom)
Come East, Come West
Sister Water, Brother Fire
Ageless stars, Eternal ones!
High above our planet floor.
May I sing with you tonight?
May my mind perceive these thoughts
Too beautiful for me
Heaven is your throne O Everlasting Father
Your Voice is the speed of Light
Your passion undoes the grave
O King of the Mysteries
Be extolled, be exalted, be blessed
By every creature here below
From this earth I cry to You
Maker of Sea and Stone, Glass and Fire
The thundering speed of the Stallion
The graceful leap of the Doe
The spirited songs of Sparrows rising
The noble strength of the Bear
You are the Poet of the Universe
The Father of Night and of Day
You shall train my hands for war
You shall teach my heart to fear
You shall speak such love inside me
And I will love you here:
With all my Mind, with all my Soul, with all my Strength
Blessed be your Name in all the Earth.