The Second Crossing

(This ballad may be read while listening to “The Crossing,” by Ola Gjeilo
River. O, my beautiful, beautiful river.
You’ve bent to me a thousand days;
ten thousand times assuaged me.
Harken back, child. To cold December’s fall.
Lost beneath the frozen roof of water,
you glimpsed its true beauty, brief as
the life of a skin-trapped snowflake,
then blood pumped back into your brain.
But I have not forgotten it…
that rapturous scene of youth
has ever lit these eyes, though they’ve
sunk for so long down a well of darkness.
Ah, now… now all is coming clear.
I have surely been here; ambient air
enfolds like hands that know my feeble frame.
To the water. Come, come child.
The leading ones are here. The loving ones.
They sing. So sweetly sing and fly.
Grace alights around. A dove descending.
My name rings. It rings and rings.
Being held. Fully present to this great unfolding.
If only they knew. If only they would come and stay…
Pray by the river. If they could see what I now see.
Saw then, so dimly. Yet now, full on.
A scene so fair. So wondrous. So free.
Then in heart and mind and body
they would surely kneel forever.
Living River

The Cahaba River at Living River Camp and Conference Center near West Blocton, AL

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