For My Friend Len

These trips are as much about self-discovery as adventure.  This time around, there have been moments when I missed specific people a whole lot.   Yesterday, I missed my friend Len something fierce.  Len is an amazing artist.  Several years ago, he and his partner David lived in Fort Lauderdale, they were neighbors, they often sat with me at church (I wasn’t ordained yet), Len “gets” that European aesthetics and sensibility that makes me shudder when I go into most furniture stores in Florida.

In the morning, my dad and our good friends the Krantz’ piled into our rental car and drove to Grisslehamn, a small, small coastal town across from Finland.  We were going to go hiking to a point that was quite fortified during WWII and where wives have stood for many centuries, watching for the menfolk, fishermen, to return from the sea.  Yesterday was the first day of truly perfect summer weather for this part of Sweden–about 65 degrees F and bright, beautiful sun.  We walked briskly (boy, I hope when I’m 85 I’m that vigorous!) but I stopped often to take pictures because there was so much that delighted.  I’m trying to figure out how to share some of those pictures but I don’t want to get boring and touristy so I’ll spare you.  After a simple lunch of smoked salmon and potato salad, we headed back toward Norrtälje.  These are all idyllic back country roads where I had to be careful because deer and elk crossed the road in front of me several times.  Maj asked me if I wanted to see the church they used to go when she and Gunnar lived on a farm.  Of course I did.  So we made a few turns and then we were at Häverö kyrka.

The bellfry


Bits and Pieces

The Altar

And a 12th century baptismal so beautiful it made me weep.

Lennie–gotta come see this place~

2 thoughts on “For My Friend Len

  1. Oh Rosa how my heart aches at not being there with you. I’m afraid if i were I would wrench your hand from your wrist with my fervent exclamations of wonder.
    Any questions concerning faith dissipate in such a beautiful sanctuary.
    Thank you thank you.
    Sweden is kissed by God and graced with a noble people who express their gratitude with such beauty, wondrous.
    love to you,

    • It’s killing me that you aren’t here. I literally walked around weeping I was so overwhelmed. My friend Maj had just said she and her husband were fond of it. I couldn’t tell that much from the outside. And then there I was, as you say in a holy wonderland. It is beautiful Len. One day I’m going to come back and live here…

      Happy summer solstice night. It is 10:30 and still light out.

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