Monday, October 18, 2021

DESERT FIRE: Cup of Closeness

A campfire in the Sahara Desert, beneath the canopy of a pristine night sky, brilliant moon. The Berber men are showing us how they bake bread in the sand. We break fresh bread, drink Moroccan tea, some of the group sitting, some of us standing in the glow of flame.

Ahmed, the chief camel herdsman, sends one of the priests to say he wants me to come and sit beside him on the sand and when I take my place, he puts his arm around my shoulder, drawing me into himself. A tender and intimate moment of reverence. Throughout this journey he has had a profound respect for my age. Like everything in life this is not just a physical and emotional human connection; it also has a spiritual and divine dimension. It’s as if God Himself has invited me to sit beside him, that He has chosen me for this. We all like to be chosen, to be picked out for closeness to another at all levels of our nature.

Monday, October 11, 2021

ONE THING MORE: A Truth To Be Told


The islands rise on the horizon, emerging through the mist. A young boy rests his head on the ship's railing, as I did in childhood, gazing down upon the foaming sea, waving at dolphins in the distance.  Memory of travelling to Aran in August. Memory of the past and the meaning that came to me through Aran and the sea.

I'm looking for clarity now, waiting for mist to clear, not in an anxious way but as a child who knows how to wait and trust and ponder.

"strange islands, the roaring torrents, whisper of the amorous gales, tranquil night, the approaches of the dawn and silent music" (St. John of the Cross)