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


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Reflection On a Pine Cone
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This essay was written for a workshop for faculty on writing.

A craggy, crusty piece of woody growth, a pinecone, colorless, misshapen, ugly, stands, for all that, as a rich symbol of life and hope. More is to come. Much has gone before. What all has gone into its shaping? What will it become?

I remember a little orphan boy I met one time. He was dirty and unkempt. He had been mistreated and abused, but there was something in the clarity of his eyes and the freshness of his smile that gave hope and promise for the time to come. Funny, how a grotesque seed can bring so much to mind.

A biologist could put this pinecone in its place, classify it, fit it into the scheme of things. Iwould rather marvel at the mystery of life and death in the nature of things. This one cone symbolizes all that has gone before and all that will come after. Locked in its cells is the power to become a mighty tree. How awesome that the simplest things of life that continue to give and grow and give again.

The ecology of our planet has made this possible. Are we about to snuff out this cycle by carelessness of our ways? Is this, perhaps, the last season for pinecones?
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