Water Doesn’t Lie

Water Doesn’t Lie June 28, 2010

A thousand years ago, a colorful bird

flew out of an ancient tree in Persia, just as

a thoughtful boy opened his eyes. He never

saw it lift, only sweep over him in flight. This

is how he came to speak of God: as something

lifting out of view, as something sweeping over

us once we’re awake. Five hundred years ago, a

young woman saw her father beheaded in one

stroke by a desperate man leaning off a horse.

She would always fear horses and had a series

of unforgiving men and the last told her as he

left, “It was the desperate one, not the horse.”

A hundred years ago, my grandmother and

dozens like her, desperate for freedom, rode

the hammock of the sea to America. It took

weeks for the ground beneath them to stop

swaying. And thirty years ago, my father

couldn’t breathe on land; kept dreaming

of his mother’s crossing. Compelled, he

built a boat and taught me how to sail.

Now when I can’t breathe, I make it to

the sea where God fills me like a sail. At

times, I’m lifted by a wave I can’t see.

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