Told to me as a true story.
Once upon a time there was a young married couple (no it wasn’t us) who realized they had a mouse problem. So they set a trap and caught the mouse, but it was still alive. They couldn’t decide how to kill it, and eventually settled on drowning it. So they put the mouse in a bucket of water and went out to dinner, expecting everything to be over when they returned.
When they got home they went to see the little carcass in the bucket, and instead found the mouse was still alive. It balanced on the tip of its longest toe with just enough height for the tip of its pink nose to stay above the glassy water.
After that performance they couldn’t bear to kill it and turned it loose.
I have often thought of that mouse in the last three months, as I’ve been striving to have food ready before we’re hungry. I’ve seen myself so near drowning I can hardly believe I’ve got even a nostril above water.
What I saw for the first time today was the need for stillness in the midst of the real fear. Thrashing would have created the final waves to overwhelm the creature’s last chance at air.