The builder who first bridged Niagara’s gorge,
Before he swung his cable, shore to shore,
Sent out across the gulf his venturing kite
Bearing a slender cord for unseen hands
To grasp upon the further cliff and draw
A greater cord, and then a greater yet;
Till at the last across the chasm swung
The cable then the mighty bridge in air!
So we may send our little timid thought
Across the void, out to God’s reaching hands—
Send out our love and faith to thread the deep—
Thought after thought until the little cord
Has greatened to a chain no chance can break,
And we are anchored to the Infinite!
The Shoes of Happiness and Other Poems, 1929
Whether we conceive of the infinite religiously or not, metaphorical bridge-building is, consciously or unconsciously, the stuff of human life – billions, trillions of ‘timid thoughts’ sent out into void and – somehow caught, transformed, transfigured, vivified and made strong enough to reach deeply into present-day aliveness, here and now.
I love to be aware of this bridge-building consciously, daily, awake, in returning again and again to the silent music of meditation. And – joy of joys – anyone can do it, anywhere. Just by sitting quietly. Just by breathing. Threading the deep. Yes, indeed, in The Shoes of Happiness.