It Could Happen Any Time

Written by debra wolfson on . Posted in Rabbi's Blog


It could happen any time, tornado,
earthquake, Armageddon.  It could happen.
Or sunshine, love, salvation.

It could, you know.  That’s why we wake
and look out — no guarantees
in this life.

But some bonuses, like morning,
like right now, like noon,
like evening.

– William Stafford

Georgia King sent me this poem earlier in the week, and I’ve been coming back to it time and again since then.

Sometimes the world feels like a very scary place; sometimes we don’t know what to do with the rush of horrific news in our world that we may receive in the course of any given day. And we feel the truth that, as Stafford writes, “it could happen any time.” So that is true. We cannot deny that it is so. And we wake up and look out and know that there are no guarantees in this life.

And yet there is more that could befall us at any time, and is in fact, is extraordinarily more likely to actually happen: sunshine, love, salvation.

We look out our window now. Sometimes our fear for our world and our loved ones in it clouds and darkens our vision. This is just what it is to be alive. And every generation feels it and has felt it and will continue to feel it.

And yet there is morning, noon, evening. Each of them an undescribable miracle; a gift staring us right in the face. We cannot deny that this is true – the gift that is this life; the miraculous in what we call the mundane.

May we have the courage to be who we are and to be in the world as it is. Hanukah is a season of miracles. May we have the courage to meet the miraculous half-way.


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