The Barbarossa Tower stands in its ruined form above the coastal town of Gruissan in the South of France, affording a spectacular view of all that surrounds it. The rooftops of the town, which lies immediately beneath the tower, while being an amazing display of terracotta colours, give the impression of a sort of armour, protecting all that lies within. One can see the whole town and beyond, but little of the people and the life that are what really makes it a town!
My interpretation of the view seeks to emphasise the fact that the viewer can only glimpse the life of this busy and bustling seaside town.
My imagination conjures the varied lives and the activity that is hidden from sight and carefully protected. I am certain that it is not just the town's 'best face' that one glimpses in the street and that the real life of it's people remains out of sight and probably behind closed doors.
Most residential communities are much the same as this. We protect our lives and privacy very carefully. Living in a second-floor apartment I am aware that our home-life is totally hidden from view, except to those who we welcome in, and even then there is much of personal life and thought which is not readily shared with others.
We would naturally refer to Gruissan as a community, as we would Dickens Heath, our home, but how can this be when we share very little of ourselves? For community to happen there needs to be a greater sharing of self and a willingness for others to get to truly know you. An openness to receive as well as to give.
It is such an open relationship that we also need with God, who knows us entirely whether we like it or not, not closing ourselves in so he cannot reach us. All that we surround ourselves with may be as colourful as the rooftops of Gruissan, but a life that we share with others and with God will be much richer in its colours.