by William Stafford
Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.
I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.
I found this poem in one of Sarah’s required texts for her semester in El Salvador, Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer, and I love it. It reminds me that God wants me to “Noreen – it”, as my very smart and insightful sister Eileen would say, that He created me to be and to do something that no one else will be or do. It might not be a big deal in the eyes of the world, but that doesn’t matter. It’s God’s big picture that matters, and I am an important part of that. I can help change the world by just by being myself, in this time and in this place, by loving the people that are here with me.
“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.” ~ Winne the Pooh