otherwise

Otherwise – Jane Kenyon

I got out of bed on two strong legs.

It might have been otherwise.

I ate cereal, sweet milk, ripe, flawless peach.

It might have been otherwise.

I took the dog uphill to the birch wood.

All morning I did the work I love.

At noon I lay down with my mate.

It might have been otherwise.

We ate dinner together at a table with silver candlesticks.

It might have been otherwise.

I slept in a bed in a room with paintings on the walls, and planned another day just like this day.

But one day, I know, it will be otherwise.

from Otherwise, 1996 Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minn.

It is snowing in Minneapolis.  Dumps of fat flakes follow the rain and sleet of last night. 

I am at work, interfacing with the world via computer and the crafting of worship.  Outside my window are grave stones in a cemetery that holds the body husks of church members and a cloud of witnesses engaged in living in ways beyond my ken.

There is this day.  This day to savor coffee and pancakes bursting with blueberries prepared by my favorite in-home chef.  There is this day to  laugh at the primal scream bubbling in me provoked by this March snowstorm.  There is this day to put my heart to thinking about the living water we are offered every day we are given to live and thirsty we are and slake our thirst so often we do not.

Some day it will be otherwise.  Some day we will not have the great gift of being vexed by snowflakes.

But this day, this day the call to presence sounds louder than the call to whine.

It certainly has been otherwise.

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