Balancing Upon a Broken World

This afternoon was the colour of water falling through sunlight;
The trees glittered with the tumbling of leaves;
The sidewalks shone like alleys of dropped maple leaves,
And the houses ran along them laughing out of square, open windows.
Under a tree in the park,
Two little boys, lying flat on their faces,
Were carefully gathering red berries
To put in a pasteboard box.
Some day there will be no war,
Then I shall take out this afternoon
And turn it in my fingers,
And remark the sweet taste of it upon my palate,
And note the crisp variety of its flights of leaves.
To-day I can only gather it
And put it into my lunch-box,
For I have time for nothing
But the endeavour to balance myself
Upon a broken world.

~Amy Lowell, “September, 1918” from The Complete Poetical Works of Amy Lowell

Am I the only one who awakes this morning with a prayer
asking that today be the start of healing
rather than conflict and hostility and pain,
that the barbaric destruction of yesterday
transform to reconciliation and understanding–

no more angry mobs,
no more inciting speeches,
no more windows bashed,
no more doors breached,
no more explosives hidden away,
no more conspiracies hatched,
no more untruths believed as gospel…

no more rising infection counts
no more overflowing ICUs
no more mounting deaths…

Am I the only one who awakes this morning with a prayer
to seek only
to celebrate the sunrise
to watch the clouds glide past
to praise God in His heaven
to watch His Light slowly replenish itself
after weeks – no, months – no, years – no, decades
of darkness,

to take out this one day and taste it
and find that it is good,
especially in the midst of deprivation
then put it away for self-keeping
to share when and if I find someone else
as hungry for grace and mercy as I am,

so as to balance myself somehow
in the beauty of this world while
teetering on its brokenness?

I am not the only one.

I know I am not.

11 thoughts on “Balancing Upon a Broken World

  1. Dear Friend in Christ,

    My prayer is the same one you expressed so eloquently. Thank you. May God bless you richly.


    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Waking and thinking good thoughts does nothing about the evil – speak up and do something to get rid of it

    Pat H



  3. Thank you Emily for this beautiful reflection. You are not the only one. Many other women and men of prayer are with you. I thank God for you and all of us people of prayer. Peace today in our world, that is our prayer. Love to you, Susan


    Liked by 1 person

  4. No, Emily, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
    I think that most people are too stunned, frightened and overcome by all that is occurring in our nation.
    The uncertainty and human suffering of the virulent COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the horror that we just witnessed via
    television and Smartphones — the political violence committed by insurrectionists instigated and abetted by Donald
    Trump nearly as soon as he began his presidency four years ago. Why were we so blinded to what
    began then and continues to this day?
    All too much too handle, privately, or as a society. Again we have ‘lost our way,’ and listened to the voices of
    greed, hatred and destruction within our citizenry and our U.S. Congress — the guardians of our Democracy and
    interpreters of its Constitution.

    Jesus once said, ‘You shall know them by their fruits.’ Simple, clear, to the- point language. But we seem to be
    forgetting (or rejecting?} Jesus’ warning about trusting those whose unambiguous intention it is to foment hatred and violence — advice that our
    first-of-a-kind 18th Century Constitution sought to practice and maintain in establishing the hopeful possibility of Democracy
    and freedom for all citizens.
    We have a long way to go as an immigrant nation of those who came here to seek freedom and human rights —
    an unthinkable concept in the nations from which our ancestors came.
    If we do not now heed Jesus’ admonition we will reap what we have sown. And we will have lost something
    very precious that the world had never seen attempted.

    (‘Not being alone’ rings so true to me and to those persons, known and unknown, whom I meet when I am in
    a checkout line or in places where people gather now — obeying the mandated distances. They seem to have that
    almost vacant incredulous look in their eyes, trying to make sense of the terrible things that are happening to us, personally and,
    as a Nation. It is the same ‘silent’ look that I remember as a young girl when Pres. Roosevelt announced over our
    radio that we had suffered a sneak attack in Hawaii and were now at war with Japan.
    Then on the date 9/11 and those following days, we saw the same look in the eyes of our fellow citizens.
    We were dazed, unbelieving, that such terrible attacks could occur against our Nation, our homeland..
    Those acts and the suffering that ensued for long after the events brought us together as a ‘family’ of brothers and
    sisters, living through those events united in spirit and saying , ‘never again’!
    Well, ‘again’ has just happened. We have to do better or all of our hopes and dreams for life on this earth will cease to exist.}

    Liked by 1 person

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