I wrote this poem for the Pilsdon community, a small group of people living together and running a farm in rural Dorset. Their home is a haven for anyone in difficulty and they welcome people to come and take part in their life and work. In this remote and peaceful place, in an atmosphere of kindness and respect, lives are gradually changed for the better. This month the community celebrate their 60th anniversary.
Flagstone floors and creaking stairs,
a dining room with many chairs –
space enough for every guest:
the curious, those seeking rest
and wayfarers, men of the road,
trav’llers with no fixed abode,
those who have been devastated,
rejected, hurt, abused or hated,
the lonely and the one who grieves
find shelter under Pilsdon’s eaves
and join its life of work and prayer,
give what they have, receive their share.
Cows milked at dawn and dusk by hand,
food grown on carefully tended land,
log fires and homely cooking smells,
days ordered by the sound of bells
inviting all to rise and pray
and eat and work and rest and play
and, while working side by side,
perhaps find courage to confide.
As days are lived in this safe space,
gradually a change takes place –
unbinding, comforting, release,
the troubled heart discovers peace.
Through all, God weaves mysteriously,
works through this simple sanctuary
until at last the bound are free.
Wounds healed and broken hearts consoled,
now dare to let new dreams unfold.
The Pilsdon community are often looking for new people to join them in their work. If you would like to know more, see http://www.pilsdon.org.uk