A boy was asked

4299710_9738b3eeA boy was asked what he wanted to do in life.

He replied that he would sit on the river bank and fish.

He asked for more than he knew.

For

The water would need to be kept clean

And

The fish would need to keep returning

And

The river would need to keep flowing

And

The bank would need to be kept free of steel and concrete

And

Maybe one day

He would travel to the river’s source and see how the very little can become great

And then

He would seek the river’s mouth and see how there is always more than what he knew

But above all else

He would learn

the power of waiting.

I have begun re- reading Barbara Bedford Taylor’s book, An Altar in the World. At present I can’t get beyond the title. It invites us to consider the layers of encounter which are all around us. So a boy casting a line into a river is more than that. It is a hub of potential pathways into the future; for the present is the birth-channel of the future.

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