Salvation requires so little says Carol Hamilton, praising an old Inuit woman who sat out a blizzard under the snow. The storm raged but the woman didn’t rage. She would live or she would die. She waited to see. When the storm eased, she broke out into sunlight. Neither lost nor found, she made her way home.

I admire such calm, the giving way—to the elements, to what is needed. Sometimes that quiet comes to me—to any of us—the car sliding across black ice, the crash, and that silence in which we wait to hear
is this life, or is it death? And they seem strangely the same.

Other times I try not to thrash about. I clutch, drowning, hour after hour, not for life or safety but for something firm beneath my feet. A teacher of sorts, a man with problems of his own—like all of us— once sang a scrap of song to me. The words are mostly lost, but I hear the line that mattered. Cause I’m already standing on the ground.

Something beneath my feet—the calm itself, resting in it. No matter what, it will be well.

—Sarah Webb

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