Others taunt me with having knelt at well-curbs
Always wrong to the light, so never seeing
Deeper down in the well than where the water
Gives me back in a shining surface picture
Me myself in the summer heaven godlike
Looking out of a wreath of fern and cloud puffs.
Once, when trying with chin against a well-curb,
I discerned, as I thought, beyond the picture,
Through the picture, a something white, uncertain,
Something more of the depths—and then I lost it.
Water came to rebuke the too clear water.
One drop fell from a fern, and lo, a ripple
Shook whatever it was lay there at bottom,
Blurred it, blotted it out. What was that whiteness?
Truth? A pebble of quartz? For once, then, something.
~Robert Frost “For Once, Then, Something”
Every happening, great and small,
is a parable whereby God speaks to us,
and the art of life is to get the message.
Every day is filled with one story after another
and I am too rushed to listen,
to stop and consider
what I see or feel or hear,
no matter how small and insignificant.
When I pause
for the parable,
it makes all the difference:
A shattered handmade pot
pieced together by a friend
who then became the glue
making my broken heart
An iced-over water barrel
reflects distant clouds
above me as I peer deep inside,
its frozen blue eye mirroring
for once, then, something
far beyond me.
A steaming manure pile
becomes a crucible for my failings
transformed into something useful,
a fertilizer eventually spread
to grow whatever it touches.
An old barn roof awaits repair
of gaps torn of fierce winds,
allowing rain and snow
and invading vines inside
what once was safe and secure,
a sanctuary now storming.
I am looking.
I am listening.
I am these stories.
A broken pot made wholly beautiful.
A heating pile of failings becomes growth agent.
A leaking sanctuary needing repair.
A reflected something above, below and beyond me.
My life paused to really hear the stories,
to celebrate my transformation by parables,
one after another after another.