Monthly Archives: September 2017

Shifting Sands

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On a cloudless day

the low autumn sun

warms my cheek

lights up the edges of the grass stalks

and casts deep shadows

in shallow footprints.

The waves distantly rumble

a dog bark echos

a bird silently circles over the breakers

others chirp intermittently

from the reeds

chatting back and forth

between the dunes.

Dunes shift.

Sometimes gradually

sometimes in just one storm

but they are not secure territory.

Sometimes I’m painfully reminded

that I’ve built my house on sand.

Again.

And it’s shifting.

Why am I surprised?

It’s happened before

it’ll happen again.

The shocking reality is

it’s all sand.

Home, friends, family, work, health,

which country I’m in

which home I’m in

what I’m doing

what people think

which people I can depend on

which people I’m close to.

It’s all sand.

Why should I be surprised

when it shifts?

It’s all sand.

I like to think it’s rock

if it hasn’t shifted for a while.

I set up camp

stake my home out on the dunes

try to reinforce them

steady them.

But man-made stabilization

of naturally shifting processes

always eventually fails

and sometimes makes

the shift more devastating

when it comes.

And the rock?

I wish there were more available

but there’s only one.

And sometimes I ignore it.

It seems so much more natural to build on sand.

The default.

I’m sorry for mixing up

sand and rock.

Expecting things that are inherently shifting

to be stable

and not trusting and putting weight on

the inherently stable.

I need to move my home,

my place of inner security

from sand to rock.

And fast.

The sand is shifting.

Why should I be surprised?

It’s all sand.

“..like a foolish man who built his house on sand..” Matthew 7:26

“lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

© Copyright Hilary Murdoch 2017

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