Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cracks in the Ground

One of the oddities of the 6.5 earthquake we had here a few years ago was the humongous crack in the ground that opened up in the countryside. It was two blocks long and about 15 feet wide.
Cracks in the ground open up interesting possibilities. A child might ask: What if you fell into a crevasse and wound up someplace like China or Wonderland?
People fall into crevasses far more often than you might think.

Uncle Otto at 90 years old was a spry, wizened man smoking a pipe at a family reunion. Right in front of my eyes, he fell into a crack in the ground: a time warp in which decades drop away. Suddenly he was a boy again in Montana:

“In the dark before dawn, it was 20 below. I walked behind the wagon to keep warm, a young boy feeling sorry for myself. I can still hear the sound of the iron wheels crunching in the snow.
“In the manor where I live, there are 135 old people. I gaze at their faces. The women, they must have been beautiful once. Now, like the rest of us, we aren’t so attractive. But the beauty was there…”
Time is a crack in the ground that you can pitch headlong into, and you find yourself being somewhere different from where your body stands. Memories are like that.

Sometimes cracks in the ground open up when you’re walking through hard times.
One minute, for example, something troubles you, weighs on you like an iron wheel around your neck. You’re shackled to your worries. Then suddenly you fall into a wonderful crevasse.
You open your eyes, and beauty is there. Trouble has vanished in the soft sloughing of waves on the sand…the wheeling flight of sea birds…the irresistible desire to run your fingers through the pebbles on the beach in search of sea glass.
If you are worried today, may the ground open up beneath you, and may you tumble into a blessing.


Tall Kay said...

This is a beautiful analogy...filled with lots of hope. I love the thought of tumbling into a blessing. Thank you so much for sharing your E,S&H. Not only here, but your comments are awesome too. You have quite a story to share!

Anonymous said...

I love your analogy and it is a beautiful presentation not to take time for granted. You never know when you may fall into or slip through a crack.

Hope said...

Oh, that is a beautiful last line.