by Megan Joiner
There was a time when you thought one place, and one place only, was beautiful
If there was a God, she would surely make her home there, and there alone.
If there was a place where you could be alive, truly, really alive, that was it.
And so you struggled to get back to that place
Like a child desperate to return to her mother’s womb
But you made it impossible
And life did
And the world did
Until you curled in on yourself
As if you were covered by a shroud.
You could see but dimly
The world you inhabited, not beautiful, not alive
Because there was but one place
And this was not it.
Until slowly, ever so slowly,
You began to believe, to understand
And you learned that just as there was space for pain in paradise
There was room for beauty in Babylon
And you began to look around.
When you did, you saw that the fog gathered
Magically in other valleys, lifted over other hills and mountains
You saw that sunlight played, dappled-like, in the leaves of other trees
In so many places
You saw the stillness of ponds and the rushing of rivers
And you wondered if maybe God had multiple addresses
You began to think so.
Soon you found yourself laughing the way you once had, in that one place
Running with joy as you once had, in that place
You found yourself alive, seeing, being the way you had once thought possible
only in that one place in that one way, lost forever.
You knew then that God is everywhere.
And you knew that you
Would be just fine.
Megan Lloyd Joiner is the intern minister at The Universalist Church of West Hartford, Connecticut. Megan is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York City and a life-long Unitarian Universalist. She was ordained in June 2012.