A Song For the Knowing
The Mystery of Life and Time
William Stapleton

I stood on a moonless midnight at the rim of the world and saw the stars hung like a shimmering, glimmering curtain over the thick blackness of space, so bright they cast my shadow to the ground beneath my feet.  I set my gaze downward to the blue darkness of the valley below, and then back up, and felt myself spinning and whirling into eternity.  And I said to no one in particular:

                        “This is where we came from.  And where we’re going.”

I lay down by the ocean on a hot day’s end and watched the powerful waves roaring in     thwarted by the ripping current headed out.  Eventide, so much stammering foam and white, green cacophony:  Raw power stored up in Earth’s wet underworld.     And I watched the sun’s blistering white-hot form, slowly at first, then faster and faster, mellowing into the depths on the horizon, catching the last blue-green flash of light refracted through thousands of miles of briny sea.  And I thought:

                        “This is where we are.  And it’s not too bad.”

Time is always flowing on as we stand in the waves. 
Gentle words and deeper thoughts add meaning to the days. 
But life is more than time can hold and beyond this veil of tears, 
image of the ancient One, who spoke the stars and spheres,
lies just beyond our restless reach and waits for all to see
the mystery of life and time,
and what was meant to be.      

I saw the Southern Cross from Red Australia, and again from African soil.  And I sat to   worship God with friends so poor one of my snacks fed their family twice.  I looked in their face, and into their eyes and saw the same bright hope I find in my own heart.  Then as they danced and sang their mixture of ancient spirit and God’s great truth I found myself wanting to join in, but not having enough history or rhythm or life.  So I shouted out alarmingly:

                        “This is real!  And it’s what God wants more than anything else.”

I heard soft breath rising and falling rhythmically from the bed next to me and knew the     peacefulness of being together in the strong, silent embrace of the night.  And we lay there, curled up like two spoons in a drawer, not speaking, just listening to each other’s hearts beating.  I thought of the years of children playing on lawns, and of jumpropes graduation days and of life that passes inexorably from choice to choice, each contingent moment gone as the next appears.    And I said:

                        “This is now.  And it’s all there really is.”

Time is always flowing on as we stand in the waves. 
Gentle words and deeper thoughts add meaning to the days. 
But life is more than time can hold and beyond this veil of tears, 
image of the ancient One, who spoke the stars and spheres,
lies just beyond our restless reach and waits for all to see
the mystery of life and time,
and what was meant to be. 



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A Song For The Knowing (The Mystery Of Life And Time) by William Stapleton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.