CARETAKER OF THE WORLD
When I grow up, I will be the Caretaker of the World.
A young girl declared her intention and the grown-ups winked and smiled, beguiled by the certainty and scope of her pronouncement. They shared knowing looks, immediately dismissing her childish whim and lofty pronouncement as folly. They had learned, over the course of their lifetimes, that the world is much too vast for one person to touch every life.
Yet, there was something in the set of her chin, her unyielding glance, that held them in place.
A bit of wonder fell across the room as she continued.
Each night, before I go to sleep, I will hold the world in my hands just like this. She cupped her hands and stroked the invisible earth with the gentleness reserved for the most fragile of possessions. I will think about every living thing and then sing them all to sleep with a peaceful lullaby. Then, I will put my hands on my heart like this. She lifted her hands to her heart and held them gently in place as she continued. I will share the love in my heart with every person and creature in the world and when they feel that love, all will be well. That is how I will be the Caretaker of the World.
And somehow, on that particular day, all doubt disappeared, for she seemed to hold the wisdom of the ages and the mightiest kind of love in her very tender heart and caring, gentle hands.
Photo of Haddon Ingram taken by Eliza Ingram
A MIRROR REFLECTS IT ALL
A mirror reflects it all,
With nary a judgment call,
a hand, a face, an empty space,
a foyer with a crystal vase,
spilling forth flowers
to greet the guests,
a mirror stands ready to see it all,
the short, the tall,
the young, the old,
the shy, the chic, the wry the bold,
fancy gents and casual liars,
vacant eyes and raw desire,
a mirror is there reflecting back
whatever we wish to show,
whatever we want it to know,
we wash away our daytime face,
brush our teeth, stand in place,
searching, peering, wondering why
the wrinkles come, the skin’s so dry,
the mirror, like a sentry stands
all day and night in quiet command
of what we see, or wish to see each day.