I heard them from blocks away
as I walked the worn cobblestone streets of Vienna;
the bells of Stephansdom,
a beautiful cacophony that seemed endless,
crowds of people gathered in awe of the spectacle.
I am a deeply spiritual person, but not religious,
something about the bells pealing with such joy
from the gothic spires of the centuries-old church
made me feel closer to God,
closer to humanity.
The history of the old cathedral sang out to its city through those bells,
reminding us of what Man is capable of when inspired by love and faith
instead of hate and fear.
For just a few moments
the ugliness of the world receded and I felt the embrace of the ages,
heard the whispers of the past
of those who walked these same stones before me.
The spires reached toward the heavens.
my weary soul reaching upward with them.