*Alternate* First Reading “Blessing of the Well” by Jan Richardson

“Blessing of the Well” by Jan Richardson.

If you stand at the edge of this blessing,
and call down into it,
you will hear your words return to you.

If you lean in and listen close,
you will hear this blessing
give the story of your life back to you.

Quiet your voice.
Quiet your judgment.
Quiet the way you always tell your story to yourself.

Quiet all these and you will hear the whole of it
and the hollows of it:
the spaces in the telling,
the gaps where you hesitate to go.

Sit at the rim of this blessing.
Press your ear to its lip, its sides, its curves
that were carved out long ago
by those whose thirst drove them deep,
those who dug into the layers
with only their hands and hope.

Rest yourself beside this blessing
and you will begin to hear the sound of water
entering the gaps.
Still yourself
and you will feel it rising up within you,
filling every emptiness,
springing forth

The words of Jan Richardson.