Father Simeon Daly, OSB - Finding Grace in the Moment: Stories and other Musings of an Aged Monk


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A Reflection After a Storm at Sea
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Jan. 16th, 1968. At sea. I have just come in from the deck where I have stood for some time watching an orgy of sorts. The elements are all charged up and making quite a ruckus. There is something kind of primeordial about it. The winds do not plow as men do making a trough along the path they tread, but rather push the troughs toward some distant shore where they will be beat out level again.

There is this thing about the sea. It resents us. This monster ship upon its surface is catalyst – an emetic of sorts - that creates a great rejecting turbulence. It all seems so fruitless – such a waste of energy. Is the sea so stupid that it has not learned to live with progress? Must it go through these tantrums every time? Or will there come a day when it will welcome us? I know not, but I take a kind of pleasure watching the struggle take place like watching a street fight where the bully gets done in.

It really is something awesome, this brutal display of nature. One can not help but be aware he is observing one of the basic elements or two as wind and water join forces.

The constant motion over its surface is generative in fact. Is not all life traceable to the sea? For centuries of centuries the mating process has gone on. Sometimes peacefully. Sometimes violently as now. But it goes on.

We pass over its surface, adapt ourselves to its mood, and pass by unaware of the underlying processes, creative and destructive, that are here and now at work..

As aware as I am of my inability to comprehend it all, I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to be confronted with raw nature in this way. Even if it is from the relative safety and comfort of this ship.

Not unrelated to these thoughts of beginnings and endings are my sentiments now as I realize a very important interlude of my life is coming to an end. Each moment we move from East to West the end of an unbelievably lovely time in my life draws near. This not a despairing thought. It s a moody one. I go back to a life I have chosen and I choose once more. I have no regrets with this destiny of my life, but I can not shake this brooding. I do not try. It pleases me.

As surely as a phase of my life is coming to an end, may I not look at it as the beginning of a new one, with new hopes, new adventures to come? I think of it this way when I see the anxiety and tension on the faces of young people on the boat who are leaving home and country to start a new life in the states. Tomorrow a new day will dawn. Whether the sun shines on us, or whether it will be a cold, snowy and sleety day like now, I hope it will be for all of us, a day of confident expectancy, and but the beginning of years of fruitful accomplishment in peace
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