Archive for December 4, 2008

“The Lake Must Be Calm…”

The following quote is from today’s Streams in the Desert meditation:  “One of the blessings of the old time Sabbath was its calm, its restfulness, its holy peace.  There is a strange strength conceived in solitude.  Crows go in flocks and wolves in packs, but the lion and the eagle are solitaires.  Strength is not in bluster and noise.  Strength is in quietness.  The lake must be calm if the heavens are to be reflected on its surface.”


You can tell it is nearly the end of a busy and LONG semester.  My last four classes will be happening in the next two days. I have immensely enjoyed my hardworking students.  However, as an introvert, I need the break from all the cacophony of demands on my time.  We all need a break, a rest by a lake would be ideal but they are all frozen now.  This poem could apply to my tenure in Almaty, Kazakhstan, a city built up from the valley to the foot of the Tian Shan mountains.


It is well to live in the valley sweet,
Where the work of the world is done,
Where the reapers sing in the fields of wheat,
As they toil till the set of sun.

But beyond the meadows, the hills I see
Where the noises of traffic cease,
And I follow a Voice that calleth to me
From the hilltop regions of peace.

Aye, to live is sweet in the valley fair,
And to toil till the set of sun;
But my spirit yearns for the hilltop’s air
When the day and its work are done.
For a Presence breathes o’er the silent hills,
And its sweetness is living yet;
The same deep calm all the hillside fills,
As breathed over Olivet.”

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