I stood by the sea and thought of you today.
For you, to whom I cannot now be near,
I stood near the ocean,
whose arms embrace the globe,
whose hands encircle even its deserts,
whose fingers reach through the river you drink from.
The wind-sent waves in vestments green and white
and bearing foam-fringed banners
processed up the aisle with song
and fell prostrate at my feet,
repeating their ancient prayer:
The breath of God is at your back. Go on.
There will be sorrowful leavings, and sightless nights.
You may need to pause and weep or rage,
but then go on.
You will not fail. Life alone moves us,
and will see us to our shore, God-winded home.
You are breathed by God, whose flow will carry you.
You need not go before, nor will it serve to lag behind,
but let that great sea-brooding spirit bear you on
at its own holy pace; and you, surrendering
to its vast sea-spanning courage, and by its grace,
will go, like waves, and will go on—
always toward the one who stands
receiving you in wonder and in joy.
gusting at times to courage-raising speeds,
as the Spirit’s flowing currents
move us from where we are,
despite our feeble wind resistance—
always, by grace, downwind.
September 8, 2020