by winteryder

We stood and sang a postlude, words and music so familiar that I didn’t need a reminder of the words (or so I thought). Peace like a river, joy like a fountain, love like an ocean…

…pain like an arrow… tears like raindrops…

What? Wait. I’d never heard these verses sung in all my life. Why, yes. I do. I have pain like an arrow in my soul. I have tears like raindrops, the kind that hit the pavement hard as singles right before all hell breaks loose. I cried as I sang. The acknowledgment that you cannot separate one from the other: you don’t simply arrive at having strength like a mountain without also knowing the awful darkness of overwhelming pain. Suffering. Exhaustion.

I grew up singing these words… yet the verses that acknowledge the reality of living, of the actual human existence, were never sung or spoken.


Om Mane Padme Om


Today, I sing the pain and the tears and the joy and the peace and the love and the strength. It’s all exquisitely interwoven. A tapestry without contrast, without the Dark would be one-dimensional.

As I watch the 10:00 AM sunrise slowly unfold over the silhouettes of mountains in the distance, I’m reminded that in these darkest days and weeks, there is a sacred place for all that is wounded in me. I honor those broken places, I exhale joy. Acceptance. Love. Peace.