I’ve been looking back a lot these past days. I went back and reread years and years of blog entries and remembered when I was young. And funny. And when I was still being formed as a pastor and mother and person in general, and all of the strange observations I made over the course of that process.
I have looking back a lot these days to try to discern where a book should come from…and whether all the funny and grief-filled stories of becoming, while they tell a story that is strange…but good, too, could be molded and shaped into a story of becoming that’s a little more universal.
I’ve been looking back a lot these days to try to find a firm piece of ground on which I can stand, feet planted and arms akimbo (first time ever using that vocabulary word I learned in your fourth grade classroom, FYI, Mrs. Roth), taking in a vision of the next becoming ahead of me.
I’ve been looking back a lot these days. After all, looking forward is not so much fun when you can’t see anything clearly. But I’ve been looking back and now I am trying not to look back so much anymore. Instead, I’m trying to take the advice of the poet, to face forward with conviction that the inky darkness into which I am peering holds at least one pinprick of light, enough even maybe to illumine one step, just one.
Mornings at Blackwater
by Mary Oliver
For years, every morning, I drank
from Blackwater Pond.
It was flavored with oak leaves and also, no doubt,
the feet of ducks.
And always it assuaged me
from the dry bowl of the very far past.
What I want to say is
that the past is the past,
and the present is what your life is,
and you are capable
of choosing what that will be,
So come to the pond,
or the river of your imagination,
or the harbor of your longing,
and put your lips to the world.