An Awe So Quiet

During a recent trip to Iowa, I took this photo of the Mississippi at dawn. I noted how still it was, almost like a lake. It is moving ever onward, and yet here it is at a moment of timeless beauty. It reminded me of these words:

An awe so quiet I don’t know when it began.

A gratitude had begun to sing in me.

Was there some moment dividing song from no song?

When does dewfall begin?

When does night fold its arms over our hearts to cherish them?

When is daybreak?

-Denise Levertov, from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition

I have felt a deep calm settle over me in recent weeks. It has come over me as I have discovered a place within the fellowship of the Unitarian Universalist faith. My involvement there has helped me take important steps in being more public again, more involved, more committed to serving out in the world.

My activity in the UU has calmed me while also making me busier. A paradox of sorts. Moving, and yet still. When I engage in the business of enriching people’s lives at the spiritual level it has a stilling effect.

The tasks that flow out of our deepest calling are both quiet and powerful. They are quiet, because they arise from deep within. They are powerful because they are so right, right for us, and right for the world in the sense that they truly help other people.

When is daybreak? For me it is when I am moving and still, discovering that deep inner rightness.

When Is Daybreak?

When Is Daybreak? The Mississippi at Dawn


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