The well

(I offer you this little poem…it is recorded if you prefer to listen, and is followed by the text, should you prefer to read.)


the well is deep
but it did not come into being
+++without pain.
they came to dig one day
in that field i bought
+++just last year –
the one that cost me everything
+++i owned.

“why here?” i wondered,
as i signed the permit
they thrust before me.
“why dig a well here,
+++in this field,
in my field, that is so
full of rocks and weeds?”

yet they began,
breaking through old roots,
crushing layers of stone,
deeper and deeper
+++into the heart
where the treasure lay.

as much as i knew it would happen,
it still stunned me to see
what bubbled to the surface,
+++so clean and pure and holy.
come. come – drink of the joy –
+++it is free.
++++++it is all for you.

++++++ +++

7 thoughts on “The well

  1. albert

    I’ve been thinking all week about the woman at the well. Your poem gave me a new perspective, Mary. There are a surprising number of “theys” (persons who might be angels, though they seem rather ordinary–bloggers like you, for example; a former student from years ago; a colleague at work; a disabled neighbor) appearing in the “field” of my life unbidden, as if out of nowhere, whose presence alone, not to mention friendly conversation, unearths the joy and peace that–in God’s goodness–is always available just (or sometimes far) beneath the surface of things. Good poem! I will keep it, and listen.

  2. mary Post author

    Thanks, Al.
    More food for thought. My poem, yet I hadn’t reflected on who “they” were. Hmm…

  3. albert

    Interesting how poems come from elsewher, without our knowing all that they mean.!

    p..s. – another interpretation: “they” might be enemy-types rather than, as I indicated previously, persons who inspire us. After all, there is a lot of “breaking” and “crushing” in the poem. And since the cross is our chief symbol, maybe this is the more accurate interpretation. Either way, the well is an excellent image for our spiritual survival in in a harsh environment..

  4. albert

    Just realized how rich “they” is. Here are other possibilities: = events, thoughts, temptations, even falls. Amazing how inspiration works without our knowledge.

  5. mary Post author

    I think at some level I had thought of the digger of the well as God. He wouldn’t dig without permission (note the permit I had to sign), yet the digging might still feel brutal while breaking through the “old roots” (what might those be?”) and crushing the “layers of stone” (same question).

    But God’s process may be manifest in many forms, from the good acts of angels or the redemption He brings forth from our falls.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking comments, Al.

  6. albert

    Yes, the permt! I forgot about that. I used the word “unbidden” too quickly. It all fits together now.

    But even for those who dont sign the permit, the well water is available. We simply have to go to someone else’s field–say, a church’s–and ask for a drink. And if we are especially blessed, a spring might appear in our yard on its own after an earthquake or as a result of some other dramatic rearranging of our landscape.

  7. mary Post author

    I did offer you a drink, Al. 🙂

    We are all in different places at different times in our lives. Sometimes we aren’t ready to buy the field, much less have a well drilled into us. Or we might have a well but it has run dry because of overuse or a drought.

    I feel quite sure that we are meant to drink from one another’s wells. When a gift that is “clean and pure and holy” bubbles to the surface, it is not meant for just one person – any more than the death and Resurrection were mean for just one person.

    All are meant to drink of the joy.

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