June 26, 2014, Frankfurt-am-Main- Thursday morning was especially joyful, bringing with it a train and bus ride to the Baha’i House of Worship, in Langenhain, about an hour west of central Frankfurt. The train to Hofheim, from whence the bus went to Langenhain village, took about forty minutes. Hofheim lies at the foot of a forested hill region, and is quite picturesque, in and of itself. (Photo courtesy of de.wikipedia.org)
The bus to Langenhain was driven by a man who seemed ready for a long vacation- not happy with my broken German, or with the fair number of high school kids who got on at the central bus terminal, about 200 meters from the Hofheim Hauptbanhof (Try saying that, ten times fast!). We got to Langenhain quickly enough, though, and I encountered a couple of farmers, who were discussing goats. One of the men kindly guided me to the road that led to the House of Worship. I walked about 100 meters northward, and sure enough- there was the great edifice, the first of its kind on the European continent, a Silent Teacher of spirituality. This view, taken from the air, shows the true beauty of the surroundings. (Photo courtesy of http://www.abahaipoint.com)
As the staff were still at lunch when I arrived, I went clockwise around the exterior, then spent an hour or so in prayer within the quiet and comforting sanctuary.
Here are a couple of views of the outside. (Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org)
(Photo courtesy of http://www.bahai.us)
I was alone, but for two groundskeepers, who remained outside. My prayers for the world, for the US, and for so many family and friends, and the resulting meditation, were taking me into another dimension, in this hot, but blessed afternoon. Of course, the inside of the temple was airy and comfortable. The photo below was taken with many people present. On that day, however, I had the auditorium to myself. (Photo courtesy of http://www.bahai.com)
What really inspired me was gazing upward, at the dome light, which has the Arabic inscription, “God is the Most Glorious”. (Photo courtesy of http://www.emporis.com)
The House of Worship was completed and opened in July, 1954, a scant nine years after the end of World War II, and became a symbol of Germany’s continued recovery and of its re-entry into the family of nations. People all over the country and all over the continent, are proud of this unifying symbol. None are prouder, though, than the villagers of Langenhain, who told me on their own, of the Golden Anniversary of the House’s opening. It was held July 6, six days after I actually left Europe. Hundreds of people came from all over Europe, for the celebratory picnic.
There to greet everyone was the House of Worship’s caretaker, Erick, who gladly shared coffee and pastry with me, after my prayers were finished. His wife then took this photo, the only one that survived the file corruption of two weeks ago, and which now is the Home Photo on my Twitter page.
Recharged, and renewed spiritually, I went back to Frankfurt, to Pension Alpha and another round of World Cup matches. Dinner at a Fujien-style Chinese restaurant seemed only fitting, after spending the day contemplating the Oneness of Mankind.