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The Healing Moment

Each day I am newly reminded of my unworthiness—a dozen thoughts misspoken; another day when the good I do falls short of the good that I could do; myriad small interchanges; moments of sharing that strain to the breaking point my desire to be generous, helpful, and kind; months of careful work lost by a moment's impatience, a careless word.

But when I am here at the edge of creation, breaking with the small tide over the sand, the need to do good rolls away; the question of what is right diminishes to insignificance and is easily borne away by the tiny waves. Here, where no words are spoken, none are misspoken.

I am with the broken stubble of the marsh grass that holds on through the wrecking wind and the burning flood. I am with the grains that mold themselves around everything, accepting even so unworthy a foot as mine, holding and shaping it until it feels that it belongs. I stand somewhere between truth and vision, and what I don't know ceases to embarrass me, because what I do know is that the water feels gentle like a lover's touch, and the sand welcomes it.

What I have done or failed to do has left no noticeable mark on creation. What I do or don't do is of no moment now. Now I am here and grateful to be touched, calmed, and healed by the immense pattern of the universe. And when I die, it will be an honor for my blood to return to the sea and my bones to become the sand. Reassured, I am called back to my life, to another day.

About the Author

Elizabeth Tarbox

Elizabeth Tarbox

The Rev. Elizabeth Tarbox (1944–1999) served congregations in Middleborough and Cohasset, Massachusetts. She is the author of Evening Tide: Meditations (Skinner House, 1998). Evening Tide: Meditations

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