current events • news • politics
culture • books • films


There Is a Castle on a Cloud

September 19, 2018 by

There is a castle on a cloud,
I like to go there in my sleep,
Aren’t any floors for me to sweep,
Not in my castle on a cloud.

A little child is singing a song that gives me courage for another day in this adult world.

You might remember a story I told about our three-year-old daughter and me looking up at the night sky.

In April 2018, this daughter, Cosette, became engaged and married to Marius – whoops, I slipped with the pen just then – to Louis. It was a simple wedding, but one filled with deep joy.

Queens Theatre in London

Louis’s parents travelled from the United States to England to share the joy of this new couple, and to cement our bond of friendship as parents of the bride and groom. When we told them how much the story of Jean Valjean in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables influenced our choice of a name for our daughter, they surprised us with tickets, and a dream came true: we were off to watch a live performance of Les Mis at the Queens Theatre in London.

The performance holds my full attention throughout the three hours inside the famous theatre. I try to imagine what it must be like for these actors to appear night after night to packed houses. Their energy level is incredible; they’ve given themselves entirely to the character they represent.

The stage revolves to bring a new scene to the audience. Enter Cosette:

There is a room that’s full of toys,
There are a hundred boys and girls,
Nobody shouts or talks too loud,
Not in my castle on a cloud.
There is a lady all in white,
Holds me and sings a lullaby,
She’s nice to see and she’s soft to touch,
She says: “Cosette, I love you very much.”
I know a place where no one’s lost,
I know a place where no one cries,
Crying at all is not allowed,
Not in my castle on a cloud.

I have been drawn into a performance that has touched thousands of others during the thirty years it has been running continuously here in London. We were just another assortment of individuals from off the streets of Piccadilly Circus, gathered together for a few hours, who allowed the drama to touch the wounds life has blessed us with.

In the year since I’ve been back from Jerusalem, I’ve been dealing with a mass of conflicting thoughts and emotions. Mostly I think of the children I met there, and I am perhaps overly conscious of how hostile this planet is towards the truly innocent childlike spirit.

But here in London, the answer is right there in front of me. The child Cosette embodies that child in each of us who longs for heaven, for the kingdom of God’s justice. She sings of faith, hope, and love as only a child can, and with the certainty that if it cannot be realized in the present, it surely will be waiting for us in the future.

Photography by author.


About the author

John Henry Menz

John Henry Menz

John is an amateur astronomer, photographer, and gardener who is currently living in Beech Grove, a Bruderhof in England...

Read Biography
View All Authors

What is the Voices Blog?

Voices is a blog by Bruderhof members, covering topics important to us and to you.

What is the Bruderhof? We're an intentional Christian community with locations worldwide. We try to love our neighbor and share everything, so that peace and justice become a reality.

Find out more about the Bruderhof.

Keep Up-To-Date

Sign up for a weekly email from the Bruderhof

Another Life Is Possible - 100 years of life together at the Bruderhof

In Pictures

Follow us on Instagram for snapshots of Bruderhof life

Recommended Readings

View All

You Might Also Like

View All Articles
View All Articles