Unmoored

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The wind was a heavy stillness, barely touching the trees.
The moon was a luminous coracle adrift in a cloudy sea.
The road disappeared in a bend at the bottom of the hill —
And the future loomed uncertain
certain… certain…
The future was certainly uncertain,
In this space called liminal.


A few years ago I heard the story of Columba, a 6th century saint. He was banished from Ireland, set adrift in the North Irish Sea in a round boat known as a coracle.  The story was told as a way of explaining liminal space, that place where we are unsure of everything, where we are “unmoored.”  Part of the legend of Columba was that in this round boat he had no means by which to steer and that his fate seemed hopeless.

But Columba’s coracle eventually landed on the Isle of Iona. There he worked to spread the news of Christ to the people of Scotland. His “unmooring” actually advanced the church.

In C. S. Lewis’ book, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Reepicheep the mouse sailed off in a coracle.   Strangely, he did not feel unmoored.  While he didn’t know his final outcome, his sole purpose was to pursue Aslan’s country.

Print by Jennifer Trafton Peterson, for sale at https://img0.etsystatic.com/158/1/8068367/il_570xN.1087465794_ba16.jpg

Print by Jennifer Trafton Peterson, for sale at https://img0.etsystatic.com/158/1/8068367/il_570xN.1087465794_ba16.jpg

The moon in its cloudy sea may seem unmoored.  But it is held in its orbit with the earth by an invisible magic we call gravity.

And the earth is held in its orbit with the sun by that same unseen tether.

When I feel unmoored, like a coracle tossed on the sea, I know that, despite what I feel, I am also being guided by a mighty unseen Hand.

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