On our journey to England just over two weeks ago, we left Amsterdam in the early morning, just as the sun was rising.
We flew under rosy dawn skies, over the red tiled roofs of the city and briefly over flat, orderly, farm fields divided by canals and dotted with neat farmhouses--unmistakably Dutch. In minutes we reached the sea shore, the beaches of Holland--and we could see the surf dancing on the shoreline like the lace that borders Dutch net curtains. Then we were over the ocean--the North Sea, which I crossed many times as a child, to and from visits to our Dutch relatives.
We flew over a patchwork of green. From the sky it seemed that the country was entirely farmland; ancient fields laid out as for centuries like a crazy quilt, separated not by canals but by hedgerows and trees. We saw cars moving along the country lanes; farms and villages and eventually taller buildings and bigger roads, and the city of Birmingham.
From the air all looked so peaceful and quiet, but drawing closer to landing, life teemed all around us in increasing intensity.
And so it was on our visit to Alvechurch. From a distance it may seem like a quiet country village, but draw closer and it is alive with the drama of intertwined relationships. And one such drama I found myself in the middle of...but more on that tomorrow (with apologies for being a tease; I would love to write all night but morning comes all too soon!)