Monday, November 15, 2010

Small Miracles and Large

She walks behind a waterfall, the water pelting down a hundred feet while she edges her way along the limestone cliff underneath it. Behind and above her are layers and layers of rock that had been worn down over time, so that the rock looks like stacks of books or carpet squares one atop another, rising up to form the escarpment.

She feels so very small at the edge of that path as the mist from the waterfall surrounds her. She often feels that way, like she's one small person in the midst of so many needs, so many sorrows. What can she do, really? She can't take away hunger, or pain, or sickness. She can't even find change to drop into the Salvation Army bell-ringer's bucket most days.

Just one small person.

On one side of her, the darkness of a narrow cave looms; on the other, a grandeur that makes her speechless. A cave is an ideal place to hold small things, small people. She ducks in there for a minute, but its closeness makes her uncomfortable. The darkness presses against her, and she doesn't stay. She turns, instead, toward the glory of the water, shimmering, falling, diving into the air, dancing with the sunlight, racing over the stones. She wants to reach out to touch the water, but it is too far.

They hike to the top of the escarpment and look out over the landscape below them. Farms, trees, a patchwork quilt of cleared land rolls out over an enormous bed frame proportioned for a giant with the distant Adirondack Mountains as the pillow. The waterfall is the giant's shower, she thinks, and we are nothing more than ants. They continue hiking the path until they reach the source of the waterfall.

It's just a small stream.

Such beauty, such grandeur comes from one small stream, barely five feet across? She's five feet tall. Well, five feet, three inches. There seems to be a correlation here. Can something that big come from something that little? She looks down at the water rolling over the edge. It can.

Small miracle or large?

You decide.

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