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  • Carroll Devine

Something Solid to Stand On

“When you’ve come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown,” said the oft-quoted Unknown author, “Faith is knowing one of two things will happen – There will be something solid to stand on, or you will learn how to fly.”

In troubled trying waters as we are in today, we want to understand what we should do, say, or even think, and so we look for a life raft—something to at least keep us afloat while we figure it out. And life rafts without holes are becoming harder to find.

Long years ago when I spent several months as a volunteer farm worker on an Israeli kibbutz, and a group of us went one Sunday for some R & R to a beach near Nahariya, I was jolted into the realization of how valuable and yet fragile rafts can be.

We had been at the beach no more than a couple of hours when our play time was cut short by an explosion. It was a bomb that had been planted in the sand under a shelter not far from where we sat. Although thankfully, no one was hurt, it was frightening and unnerving, but what was surprising to me was the way most of the beachgoers responded.

Without screaming, they calmly picked up their belongings and walked, not ran, quickly off the beach.

Knowing that the population was often under attack on buses and in public places, I wondered how these people ever became inured to the violence and threats. I hoped I would never find out.

Then came 9/11. I looked for a raft—someone with wisdom who could make sense of it all. No one showed, and no one person has yet to have all the answers for me. Instead, I count on the strength of Faith in Something Greater than myself that is found in quietude by listening inside, and little by little, I learn how to fly.

I am also grateful for the purpose and practice of Yoga, which I first studied in India. It has become over decades a deeply imbedded part of my life, and as long as I listen, it gives me something solid to stand on.

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