In Need of a Dock

There are days when I am so in need of grace that I can hardly catch my breath. When it seems that try as I might, I am unable to find an inner dock on which to drag myself out of the murky waters in which I am drowning.

As you might suspect, today is one of those days.

Our family arrives tomorrow for our annual Father’s Day Glenwood Rodeo Weekend Gathering, which I love.  It is way too hot, which I hate. Projects are running behind, which should be expected, but somehow have caught me by surprise. Again. Gracie-the-chocolate-labradoodle picked now to have intestinal issues, which should evoke my compassion, the operative word being ‘should'.

I could continue, but you probably get the gist.

Searching madly for something to grab onto an hour ago, I remembered a poem by Carrie Newcomer that my spiritual director, Dane, shared with me after our last session together. I had every good intention of reading it the day he sent it to me, and, as we all know, the road-to-you-know-where is paved with good intentions.

Drinking in the words, I found a grace soaked dock on which to rest, and there is no doubt that the timing of finding it was heaven sent. If you are in need of a dock on which to rest, feel free to join me there, and we can sit with not knowing together.

I’m Learning to Sit With Not Knowing

Carrie Newcomer


I am learning to sit with not knowing.

Even when my restless mind begins jumping

from a worried

“what next”, 

to a frightened

“what if”, 

to a hard edged and impatient, 

“why aren’t you already there?”


I’m learning to sit and listen

to pat myself on the knee,

lay my hand on my heart,

take another deep breath, 

laugh at myself,

befriend my mistakes,

especially the ones,

that showed me how,

I most needed to change.


I’m learning to sit with whatever comes

even though I’m a planner,

because so much of this life

can’t be measured or predicted

or evenly portioned.

Because wonder and suffering visit

when we least expect 

and rarely in equal measure.


I’m learning to sit with what

I might never know

might never learn

might never heal

with what might waltz in and surprise me

might nudge me into the risky business of growing

might crash into my days

with unspeakable sorrow

or uncontainable delight.


I’m learning to sit 

with not knowing.

With deep gratitude yet again, for Dane Anthony for walking with me on my spiritual trail, for my one and only sister Margie for never leaving my side, for my niece Katie for always bringing a spirit of peace to the adventure, for Harper Joy for bringing us joy, for my geologist Tom for caring that I care not only about how things function but also for how they look, and for my hermano-in-law Bobby for always showing up no matter what.