by the Reverend Robert Walsh
Did you ever think there might be a fault line
Passing underneath your living room:
A place in which your life is lived
In meeting and in separating, wondering and telling,
Unaware that just beneath you
Is the unseen seam of great plates that strain through time?
And that your life, already spilling over the brim,
Could be invaded, sent off in a new direction,
Turned aside by forces that you were warned about but never prepared for?
Shelves could be spilled out,
The level floor set at an angle in some seconds' shaking.
You would have to take your losses, do whatever must be done next.
When the great plates slip and the earth shivers
And the flaw is seen to lie in what you trusted most,
Look not to more solidity, to weighty slabs of concrete poured
Or strength of cantilevered beam to save the fractured order.
Trust more the tensile strands of love that bend and stretch
To hold you in the web of life that's often torn but always healing.
There's your strength.
The shifting plates, the restive earth, your room, your precious life,
They all proceed from love, the ground on which we walk together.