Stories are an important way for us to understand ourselves. We will find wisdom in the story of our own life, in other’s lives, or in the fictional stories that we choose to read. I have just finished reading “This Tender Land” by William Kent Krueger – a coming of age story for a young man named Odie O’Banion who journeys with three other orphans during the Depression to find family. This passage came towards the end of the story and is well worth considering:
“There is a river that runs time and the universe, vast and inexplicable, a flow of spirit that is at the heart of all existence, and every molecule of our being is a part of it. And what is God but the whole of that river?
When I look back at the summer of 1932, I see a boy not quite thirteen doing his best to pin down God, to corral that river and give it a form he could understand. Like so many before him, he shaped it and reshaped it, and shaped it again, and yet it continued to defy all his logic. I would love to be able to call out to him and tell him in a kindly way that reason will do him no good, that it’s pointless to rail worry about where the current will take him, but I confess that even after eighty years of living, I still struggle to understand what I know in my heart is a mystery beyond human comprehension. Perhaps the most important truth I’ve learned across the whole of my life is that it’s only when I yield to the river and embrace the journey that I find peace.” – William Kent Krueger, This Tender Land
A wonderful story that kept me coming back to it, This Tender Land is a worthy read.