Soul searching

She asks me, "What is Soul?"
This slim sweet woman with silvery hair
Who farms the windswept prairie
Her seasons brimming over with
The antidote for sense.

Winters she crafts the harmony of calico quilts
Together with quiet stitches,
Plays hymns by heart on her parlor piano,
Breaks ice on the pasture pond
So the livestock can drink enough.

Spring finds her
Nursing her flowers and flocks,
Welcoming newborn colts,
Helping her husband drill wheat.

Summers when all their children were home
Were hot and happy and fragrant with hay.
She made them lots of lemonade and
Gave them gentle baths. She healed them
All through prayer.

And now that it's fall and the harvest is in—
Her children all grown,
Her pantry gleaming with jars of fruit,
Her kitchen table wiped clean—
She calls to ask, "What's Soul?"


If a Moses called Inquiring of law,
Or a Magdalene
Questioning love,
If an Elijah asked
If he needed my match
To prove the power of God,
I wouldn't be more surprised
Or answer more humbly than this:

Your life testifies to Soul!
Look into the depths of your heart
Where God has written His law.
You will find your Father has answered
Even before you called.

Sally Seagull Johnstone

Knowing their names
August 10, 1987

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