ODE TO TEAPOT VALLEY
O happy vale - you loved us well!
Your doctor welcomed us - smiling warmly
Wearing shorts, extending his hand
"I'm Tony - how can we help you?"
Your cafe brought us gourmet chicken salad and steaming cappuccino
(unheard of in our small farming towns)
Rusted machines dot the fields of your "Steam Museum"
Steep hills overlook your sunny valley.
Our son longed for a bike
Your bikeshop owner looked in the shed
"Well this just came in and I've
Not had time to fix it up
Take this - No: there'll be no charge
If you bring it back in good shape."
Vineyards line your slopes.
Cheerful vintners fill our glasses and
Confess their favorites.
Stones skip across the surface of your river.
We ride screaming down your "flying fox"
Ian conquers your confidence course
(Fashioned for much larger bodies)
A bevy of small Friends try hard to drown me - giggling.
Your dining room defeats us, so
A table is set - with flowers
Where we can dine quietly alone
And breathe - and heal.
Young girls bring a chain of flowers
To Annie's sickroom bedside.
May you always turn death boats from your shores
May you always lend your cars bravely to near strangers
From across the sea
May you welcome travelers and singers into your homes - and hearts
May you trust - and forgive
May you be a beacon of slower pace and
Easy-going spirit in a
Too busy cluttered world
May you teach the great nations the ways of
- Peter Blood-Patterson, Brightwater, New Zealand (13 January, 2000)
Written at the New Zealand/Aotearoa Yearly Meeting summer
gathering held at Teapot Valley Christian Camp. We were invited by New Zeland
Yearly Meeting to spend about five weeks traveling among Friends doing music
ministry from December 1999 through the end of January 2000. New Zealand had refused to allow U.S. warships with nuclear weapons dock at their ports not long before.