He replied that he would sit on the river bank and fish.
He asked for more than he knew.
The water would need to be kept clean
The fish would need to keep returning
The river would need to keep flowing
The bank would need to be kept free of steel and concrete
Maybe one day
He would travel to the river’s source and see how the very little can become great
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.