A Lesson in Meandering by Jeff Grills


In a sturdy orange kayak, learning to paddle,

Trying to avoid a soaking topple,

I manage a zig-zag trail through the lake.


With one stroke, I head toward the left shore,

With its steep hill, a confusion of oaks and jumbled rocks


With the next stroke, I glide to the right,

A family’s messy dock, paddleboards askew

Each kid’s board a different color


My zig-zag, winding trail,

Irregular as the bark of a tree–

Distracting, inefficient, imperfect


Remembering that old movie

Where the boy gently lowers his homemade toy boat

Into the river, and it has a turbulent journey

All the way to the sea.


God has lowered me into this kayak

Into this warped and winding journey

To show me the benefit and the enjoyment

Of the serpentine path


For fifty-odd years I have tried to paddle straight

Through the waters of school, career, child raising,

Avoiding the cockeyed ways

Shunning the lopsided life


Now, I let go of the demand

For the shortest distance between wishes and fulfillment

Because joy can be found

In surrender to the unpredictable.


Ahead, I see two swallows

Careening madly over the surface

Their spiral flight a laughing dance


Chasing each other, just like God and me

Sometimes God chases me

And sometimes I chase God,

But either way, it isn’t too serious

We are one in scrambled joy.



Enjoy another work by Jeff titled Under Construction.

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