When Pebbles Share The Mystery by Merton Lee
(On reading the poem “Dover Beach”)
Those pebbles in morning light,
they prefer living in that kind of spring
less touched by time.
Perhaps they share the Mystery
or can share their mystery with us.
Are they timeless siblings?
Are they another kind of holograms
containing a piece, a glimpse of our Creator?
Are they crystallized droplets of God’s tears –
tears of hope, resolve, healing, renewal?
Or they half-speak, half-disclose to us
only because they have been baptized
by the ancient waves,
by the raw visible world,
by His voice from the sea.
Or together with the waves
they resonate those birth pangs,
growth, waning, and revival of human faith,
those epoch-making conflicts, awesome sacrifices
at the world’s naked shingles and hallowed grounds.
Or the immemorial waves
have dissolved blood, toil, tears, and sweat --
the pebbles sanctified further
into light-reflecting prisms:
glimpses of His greater vision.
Or pebbles all along are part of the Mystery,
beckoning at the meek,
for in tempering human wills,
inner kingdoms are tamed,
bearing fruits nurtured by the Spirit,
some with the scent of hidden seaside laurels ...
Those pebbles in evening light,
the earthly self has since been emptied,
to be filled with their blessing,
a kind of special blessing
coming from these offspring of mythical stones,
so at home with the nuances of sunrays
while distilling secrets of the Deep …
Is the immense blueness before us,
an aimless Experiment
or out-of-proportioned Accident?
Are those seagulls, pelicans, and sparrows,
ventures of an impersonal Chaos
or an untrammelled Free Will?
Beyond the veil of Chaos,
beyond red claws and battle cries,
do we sense something which Death’s scythe
cannot smell, taste or touch?
Is that something providing
life to our bodies and souls?
Are our bodies and souls,
revived by wise breezes,
nudged to converse with the One?
Did God resolve to create
a stringent Self-challenge,
akin to biting the bullet,
giving us free will
to the extent that we can reject Him,
to such depth that we can denounce Him …
so that when whispers of the Mystery reach us,
we awaken to greater depths,
where His love flows
beyond those special spring mornings,
beyond those rivers of time,
beyond our surprises of being born?
Can we stand on tiptoes on the golden sand;
can we climb a tree, a hill, a vantage point,
to reach that warm sunlit height
of our feelings, sensing, awareness,
trying to look over the rim of the sea,
hoping to catch that gleam from the Source …
or simply contented to be surprised
by the unique life
already glowing, breathing, blinking
on our suntanned faces?
somewhere somehow we know
those glowing, breathing, blinking
are already coming
from beyond the rim of the sea.
Or can we enter the thin places between heartbeats,
glimpsing the inner kingdom of Saint Francis,
before disappearing …
becoming Life’s children once again,
as precious as the eyes of that evening light,
finding new, old and long-lost friends,
memories, dreams, and joy
among the waters, waves, pebbles, and seashells …
until beyond our wishes for something more,
beyond poem-writing and reverie,
we finally sense their mystery,
eager to tell us
how to discover,
how to be amazed
by the many-splendored thing,
a blue sea with sunlight sparkling on it,
because within it,
when we are allowed a glimpse,
is the life-giving Presence.