The scriptures are full of topophilia—love of place—in stories of pilgrimage and promised land, shrines and sanctuaries, births and deaths, and of the metaphysical “place” that Jesus called the kingdom of God.
Our lives, too, are marked by the places we love.
In Harbors of Heaven, Jeffrey Johnson draws on biblical texts, his own memories of childhood in rural Minnesota, and the poetry of Wallace Stevens, Vassar Miller, William Carlos Williams, and others to explore our perception of place. This is a book about our attachment to places, from small and familiar corners of our childhood homes to faraway and imaginary lands. As creatures of the earth, we belong to, and feel at home in, certain places: rooms, homes, gardens, landscapes, countries. They are our places of rest and renewal, our vistas of inspiration, the motherlands to which we are true, the places we love and long for and that orient our lives in time and eternity.
Harbors of Heaven will provoke thinking and reflection about our relationship to the places of our lives, enriching our understanding and appreciation of their meaning and importance.
Barnes & Noble.com
Harbors of Heaven: Bethlehem and the Places We Love
“We often take for granted the places where we live, love, or work. We forget that the ground on which we walk is sacred. [Jeffrey Johnson] has written a thoughtful, creative, and energizing book that enables us to appreciate the various places in our lives and to savor Bethlehem as a place we love in our hearts.”
— Spirituality and Practice
“Whether writing about the manger, the stable, Bethlehem, Mary, Jerusalem or the meaningful locations in his life, Johnson encourages us to renew our connection to the holy ground in our tradition and in our communities.”
“The theme of belonging pervades the pages of this book. For this reader, who has hardly lived in one place longer than three or four years, it invites an introspective look at the longings in my heart for one place to call home.”
—Pattie Reitz, Armchair Interviews. (Read the full review at Armchair Interviews.)