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


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   A Campus Walk in Sep...
   Abba Moses
   And She May Still Ex...
   Another Chance
   Another Version of D...
   Daffodils in Spring
   Farewell
   In Time of Distress
   Karen's Story
   Medieval Manuscript
   Ode to a Mosquito
   Old Blue Goes to Col...
   On Doing Damage
   Paul Boyle
   Perspective: an Essa...
   Reflection On a Pine...
   The Funeral of Dr. J...

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Another Version of Day One
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The first time I saw the Abbey Towers we were coming from the East on old state road #62. We were glued to the windows of our Model A Ford as we followed the curvy way. My Mother broke the silent awe we all felt. "This is one telephone call I am not going to make," she said. The announcement came out of the blue. We knew what she meant because we had been instructed to call the porter as soon as we arrived at the seminary lobby.

"Well, I am not going to make it," my Father said under his breath. My brother and I both said something similar. A heavy silence fell over us as we moved through town that day in early September, 1936. Nobody seemed willing to take the initiative. The original announcement was very uncharacteristic of my Mother who never met a stranger and seemed at ease in all situations. The rest of us were more backward and our responses were what one might have expected.

After we had come up the winding hill with small cedars planted along the way on either sided and parked the car on the gravel between the trees, all four of us entered the barely furnished Lobby and proceeded to stare at the phone. For several tense moments no one budged. What the men had in their favor in this auspicious moment was that Mother absolutely had to find a restroom. She eventually made the call to get the instructions she needed. Shortly after Fr. Aemelian Elpers greeted us and made us welcome.

We spent the night in the Wonderland Inn down town. Very early the next morning they left me on the campus to wait for the arrival of Fr. Aemelian. They could not wait because they needed to get back to Michigan so Dad could go to work. I waved them good bye as they drove off.

I was very much alone sitting on a bench wondering what was going to become of me. I was fourteen years old 430 miles from home, in a State I had never put my foot in until now. I did not know a soul, except Fr. Aemelian whom I had met the day before. It was kind of scary. I was scared, but also excited about what may lay ahead. Now over sixty years later I am a little awed by this recollection. I never turned back
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