When I was a kid, our parson once asked me to come to his office after confirmation class. He was a really cool guy, smart, friendly, listened to us young ones just as he would to the grown ups, never got mad at us, never was surprised by our shenanigans (a certain raid in his garden with some of his apples being mysteriously gone comes to my mind for example, and no, I wasn't part of that one), was always open for questions and never ever condescending. Who knows, had I met more like him in church, I may think differently about it today. That's not what this is about, though.
When I got up there, he told me someone had given him two sets of books by Theodor Storm saying he should give one of them to a child he thought would appreciate it. Most of them were in Fraktur, a Gothic typeface, and he thought I should have them because he knew I was going to be able to read it fluently.
I have no idea why he chose me, I'm sure there were others who could read Fraktur, maybe he did it because I was so crazy about books or maybe he wanted to teach me something. Maybe I was just the first one he saw ;-) It doesn't matter, I was very pleased and possibly a little proud. This was more than 40 years ago, and I still have those books and treasure them although I haven't read them in a long time.
In honor of him I'll share this Christmas poem by Storm. H.K. (which we called him for short, not to his face of course although I'm sure he knew), this one's for you.
Weihnachtslied (Christmas Song)
From Heaven into valleys deep
The mild light of a star descends,
From fir tree woods a fragrance sweet
Ascending through the cold night breathe;
And lit by candles is the night.
My heart is startled now with joy,
It is the Christmas time so dear!
Afar I hear the church bells toll,
So dear and homely they call
Me back into a fairy tale.
Again, I stand in adoration,
The old enchantment holds me still;
Before my eyes, from deep oblivion
Lost childhood's golden dreams return.
I feel, a miracle has happened here.
From the page of Electric Scotland
|Oberhofen Church ("my" church back then, picture taken in 2010)|