First Lesson (by Phillip Booth)
Lie back daughter, let your head
be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will hold you. Spread
your arms wide, lie out on the stream
and look high at the gulls. A dead-
man’s float is face down. You will dive
and swim soon enough where this tidewater
ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe
me, when you tire on the long thrash
to your island, lie up, and survive.
As you float now, where I held you
and let go, remember when fear
cramps your heart what I told you:
lie gently and wide to the light-year
stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.
Can I live this way God, in your presence, in your love? Lying back, feeling your presence. Trusting that somehow, someway, I am held. Learning how not to thrash and learning to trust. Feeling myself in the flow, in the current and enjoying the ride. Knowing in the depths of my soul, beyond thinking, beyond feeling that I am held. Beyond my fear, beyond my reasoning, beyond my thrashing – trusting that your love will hold me and carry me no matter what.
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”