“A Thread to Guide Us.”
by Tammy Townsend Denny, TI Executive Director
On the second Friday of each month, I pause to attend a Centering Prayer group at the Healing Gardens at Stone Hill Farm. Nestled among private gardens curated and maintained by Deborah Marqui, an author, speaker, and cancer survivor, the group gathers to connect with the Divine, with nature, with ourselves, and with each other.
This month, as our time together ended, one of the attendees shared a poem by William Stafford, entitled “The Way It is.”
The short poem begins, “There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change.”
The poem goes on to say that others may not understand your path, so you must tell them about the thread. “Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old,” Stafford writes, but as long as you hold onto the thread “you can’t get lost.”
The poem reminded me of all the times I have felt like I was only “holding on by a thread,” when the ups and downs and rounds and rounds of life left me dizzy and disoriented. I thought of all the times when there did not seem to be enough money, enough time, enough energy to carry me through life’s moments. I thought, too, of the times I have been questioned about my choices. “Why are you doing that? That’s crazy.” Often the question is said by me to me.
I answer: “I don’t know.” There never seems to be the right words to describe the sometimes barely detectable Divine-Guidance-System threading through my life.
Author and educator Parker Palmer wrote about Stafford’s thread in a 2015 reflection “A Thread to Guide Us.” Palmer shares, “Knowing we can find our way home with that thread in hand, we’re more likely to explore the darkness and learn what it has to teach us.” He admits that at times he loses track of the thread, just as all of us do.
Where is your thread? And where is it leading you today?