Elul teaching for this Friday 9-16

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 love this poem by the prolific William Stafford. He was 62 when he wrote it. I am 62, and this poem resonates within me. I get his tone and his mood. He knows life is flowing forward. He knows that the river is still moving him forward even while the surface is frozen. And all of it is infinitely bigger than him. Don’t listen to me, he says; listen to the river. ks

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