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God Is the Water by Lyla June Johnston

God is the Water

When I close my eyes at night

I can feel the rock being cut open

by water.

I hear a grandfather song

and it sounds like sand

walking down the river bottom.

In this song they talk about how even

the mighty canyon rivers began as

a meandering stream.

Beneath the gentle waters there are people.

Not people like you and I.

Stone people.

When I close my eyes at night

I am one of them

and God is the water.

Over lifetimes She eats at me

until I am polished and smooth.

She teaches me

about being gentle and persistent,

about patience and commitment.

When I close my eyes she says to me

in trickles and bubbles:


Take them.

Try to remember who you are along the way.

I have nothing for you but these words.

Take them with you

and I will see you again when you arrive

at the ocean’s throne

as one million kernels of sand”

Her voice

hums in my blood

quiet as a stream in the night

and it is a song about how

we are all


so loved

The eagles dip their talons into Her soft body

and pull from it

a fleshmeal for their


They sing this grandfather song with her

and it sounds like feathers

cutting into the sky.

It is a song about how even

hatred surrenders

to wonder.

She is breaking my heart apart like

a stubborn puzzle of problems.

Even the hardest doubts and sorrows

give way to

Her infinite grace.

And who knew that

sometimes grace comes from

standing in the wind until

everything we think we own

is ripped away from us

and replaced with a weightlessness

so profound that we can’t not cry

tears of absolute praise

and run all around the river banks shouting to the

the minnows and the cattails and the crawdads

about the truth of beauty?

The truth of a God that

breathes through the trees

weaves winter from water and night

weaves bodies from dust and light

and carries us down the river of life over

and over until we finally understand

the meaning of forever.

In the language of the stones there is

no word for mistake.

Only the complete understanding of what it

means to be a beloved son or daughter.

I am the rock

and God is the water.

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