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Stand

Thorns in the weeds sting my feet as I run to the sound of the water

My feet relax in relief as the cool clay soothes the prickles in my tired feet

Stepping into the river

Sand squeezes between my toes and causes me to stumble

Strong waters surround me

Brisk and cold but warmer in the sunny spots

I see the bottom but it is deeper than I expected

The rocks are uneven beneath my feet

Some large, some small

Some smooth, some jagged

A slick one takes me off guard

Very difficult to stand here without support, all alone

I need something to hold on to

I feel my chest tighten

Panic that I will be swept away

Pulled under the current and dragged on the river bottom

I balance somehow with strength I don’t realize I have

I exhale

My clothing is heavy with soaking water, but I do not sink

I balance carefully and journey to a dry stone in the sun

I begin to dry and feel warmth on my skin

Warmth into my soul

A twig with a tiny yellow bud floats by me into the unknown

If I go further I’m afraid it will be deeper and engulf me

My plan was to keep forging ahead and find out today where the river leads

Am I weak for staying where I am?

I feel safe here

The sun shines on my face and warms me in this place

I feel this is where I need to be

For now

I will wait here until I am told to move

Until the voice behind the sun tells me to go forward

I hear God say
“Child, you are on my solid rock. Stand.”

Kim Crawford-Meeks

*Copyright June 7, 2009, revised March 2, 2020

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