There and back again

I am heading to Aotearoa New Zealand tomorrow, beginning the trip — I won’t get there until their Saturday and, in fact, I will lose September 29, 2018 altogether! During the month of October I will be scholar in residence at the remarkable Vaughan Park Retreat Center. I will be working on a project about journeys, and, while I am there, I will have the opportunity to be several kinds of traveler — a pilgrim, a tourist, a visitor and a guest. There are other travelers — refugee and immigrant come to mind quickly since I live in a country with such an inhospitable climate for those who need refuge or long to bring their gifts. I will be re-reading The Hobbit … for a couple reasons! But certainly because I am on an adventure.

There and back again

A great good thing about books
is reading about there
while staying comfortably
in the back again …

but into every hobbit hole
with the kettle’s tune, yellow knocker,
two breakfasts, gardens
and lots and lots
of pegs because you love visitors,

some Gandalf comes looking
for someone
to share an adventure
and then you are off to there

answering riddles,
listening to beautiful songs,
fighting dragons,
sleeping with unlikely companions
and finding out what it feels like
to be really afraid
and, therefore, really brave.

Now ‘there’ can be a hard childhood,
a loss, an illness, a job, a love,
a gamble taken –
say, having a child of your own,
or letting one go,

or merely a place you travel
because the road leads ever ever on

to somewhere,
from which you understand
back again
to the place the kettle is musical,
and there is no hurry
because you have all day,

until it is time to go there …


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12 Responses to There and back again

  1. Andrea Stoeckel says:

    Traveling Mercies

  2. Penny Stokes says:

    Thank you for this, Maren. It speaks deeply to my soul. I look forward to more of your various journeys.

  3. Titia Bozuwa says:

    Have a super wonderful trip, Maren!

  4. Happy Travels my friend prayers to you. Many hugs and lights 🙂 enjoy every moment I know you will.

  5. Rosalie Sugrue says:

    Aotearoa and Middle-earth are delighted to welcome you. Haere mai!

  6. Maren says:

    I’m on the first seven of the 19 hours to get there. then will rest and keep coming!

  7. Jessica McArdle says:

    Maren, what an extraordinary adventure as well as a time to rest, reflect and write. Safe travels and a wonderful trip!

  8. Maren says:

    Thank you. Your journey has truly been a long one and has come to such a good turning in the road.

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