Though I am still wary of the owner and his family, I cannot seem to completely leave His house.
Too many lockstep assumptions of my story?
Too many visceral associations with betrayal?
No goodness-of-fit in the community?
I don’t know.
But I do know that there is
to be found inside
and outside of the church.
The other souls who
feel like home
– regardless of their beliefs
or personal history –
are most often the oddballs
a little war-torn.
These self-describing misfits
often speak from the front
serve while others listen and respond
or kick back for a Sunday morning ride
or hike or long sleep.
These remarkable souls
are like little lights
along the interminable
of this living.
The Ganges river is holy
essential to the people dwelling along its banks
and considered the 5th most polluted river in the world.
Just like life.
Filled and rimmed with people.
How do we navigate the unknown and rank waters in such darkness?
Failure. Despair. Trainwrecks in our living.
Trafficking. Disease. People converted into commodities of trade.
How do we make it through the polluted waters safely
and with impact?
Across the waters
Shore to shore
Beginning to end.
It’s the little lights on the Ganges
that lead us forward
to the shore
from beginning to end
in what is often a merry
Friends who have also lived abroad
or amid the far-off squalor
who speak truthfully
as the faithful swirl inside the church door;
allowing us to weep with them in their not-knowing.
People who see a better future
who remind us of our worth
and that each waking day
includes promise and opportunity
to change the world
in wide and nimble ways
and help others to navigate the waters.
Those who call us out
(and some of us need all sorts of calling out…sigh)
Their calling out also calls us forth
to something better
than the ignorance in which they found us.
Little lights upon the Ganges
do not offer wholesale
solutions to the darkness and pollution.
They illuminate the flow
create a point of reference in the otherwise dark
and when they eddy together
make a light
reflect a light greater
than their solitary
Each light is cast upon the water
for its own purpose.
I’ll probably never know the “why” another floats on by as they do.
But the light
that gentle embrace
the tenderness and humility of wisdom
is an infinite love lavished upon us – the lucky
As I keep wondering
I am washed
in the glow of many
who call forth in me
I hope to one day join my friends
so many strangers
as little lights upon the Ganges.