On our way caroling,
the girls, tucked into their back seats with care,
decided to sing through the first line
of every song in our caroling song book.
They did not, of course, coordinate their singing—
each enthusiastically belting out
the first notes and lyrics to different songs …
and so, from the back seat,
They loved it.
In fact, when they did,
eventually and coincidentally,
singing together the same song—
in time—in tune—
“O Come, All Ye Faithful,”
there was a startled moment
of surprised silence in the back seat,
resolved in quick agreement to start over—
singing all the songs—
one child starting from the front of the song book
and the other from the back!
it was the cacophony, precisely,
that rang true.
in different keys and different time signatures
with different words,
and yet in spite of all that,
all familiar parts of the same story—
the story rich, deep, and powerful enough
not just to combine, but to require
all the various perspectives of all its myriad parts—
all its distinct and at time contrasting expressions
in one time—
with the vast truth
toward which that story ever strains.