Against the Hard Edges

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

In all the woods that day I was
the only living thing
fretful, exhausted, or unsure.
Giant fir and spruce and cedar trees
that had stood their ground
three hundred years
stretched in sunlight calmly
unimpressed by whatever
it was that held me
hunched and tense above the stream,
biting my nails, calculating all
my impossibilities.
Nor did the water pause
to reflect or enter into
my considerations.
It found its way
over and around a crowd
of rocks in easy flourishes,
in laughing evasions and
shifts in direction.
Nothing could slow it down for long.
It even made a little song
out of all the things
that got in its way,
a music against the hard edges
of whatever might interrupt its going.
~John Brehm “Passage”

photo by Josh Scholten
photo by Josh Scholten

One thought on “Against the Hard Edges

  1. “music against the hard edges” – what a lovely phrase, one I’ll remember. Thanks for this.

    A few years ago, I was on a retreat, walking along a river bank praying, and musing how I much prefer rivers and streams that make noise rather than merely slide along silently. And it was as if the Lord spoke into my heart: “Rocks make the water sing, and that is what I’m doing with the sufferings you’ve faced, bringing beautiful and audible/visible praise and glory to Me through them in your life.”


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