Zurich (Vignettes of a Journey #3)

I walk along the narrow streets cobbled and silent in early morning

Wondering at how the many years have flown, and I,

I have come back over the ages from a pilgrimage far through the tangled vines of history

Back to where a part of my soul was born.

Echoes from these ancient roads speak to my blood

Stirring the fire within me, the old, old fire from the masters of that age;

And as I walk, I feel the ghosts of yesteryear speaking

The flames of the old beliefs that turned history on edge;

And as I gaze upon the streets and the river where these ancestors lived and died,

I feel their eyes upon me as I walk, and I wonder what they see.

In Grossmunster church, I run my hands over the back of  the wooden pew and sit

Beneath the shadow of the faces in the stained-glass windows

Where Zwingli and Grebel and Manz once stood; and suddenly time is no longer a wall between us

Because men still kill in the name of faith, and the difference between zeal and truth

Is too often undiscerned while factions war against factions, both in word and deed,

Uncaring of the blood that is shed within the church itself, despite the legacy of sacrificial love,

Yes, love, that was mingled with truth and baptized by fire and water.

The words on the wall come alive as the church itself speaks:

Herr, bleibe bei uns, denn ess will Abend werden, und der Tag hat sich geneigt.

I will sit here under the shadow of these walls and wonder for many years.

I had a 7 hour layover in Zurich, Switzerland, and took the chance to make a dream of mine come true. I had about 3 and a half hours in the city itself. Perhaps some other day I will write a post on how to do a short layover in Switzerland.

5 thoughts on “Zurich (Vignettes of a Journey #3)

  1. You’re a brave woman. I’m glad you took the chance to see Zurich. Did you have any guided tours? any maps? How did you know where to go?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did not have a guided tour, since my time there was so short anyway. I simply googled, “what to do on a 6 hour layover in Switzerland”. I found one blog post that was especially helpful with details. There were a few times I needed to figure out on my own, but people were also very helpful with pointing out directions. It was a simple, quiet city to navigate. There was very little traffic, with lots of bicycles and trams. I hope to write another post with details on my time there which might be helpful to others trying to do the same.


  2. I so much identify with the words of your poem. You transported me there to have the experience vicariously. May I use your poem for public audiences?

    Liked by 1 person

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