Gosh, it was pretty. Early in the morning, the waning moon drifting in and out of clouds. Dawn broke, soft and pink, full of clouds that were fluffy like cotton candy, but I was still pondering the pre-dawn moon.
Recently I heard the story of Columba, a 6th century saint, about how he was banished from Ireland, set adrift in the North Irish Sea in a round boat known as a coracle. The story was meant 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.
I wish the speaker had told the rest of the story — how Columba had landed his coracle on the Isle of Iona, how from there he worked spread the news of Christ to the people of Scotland, and how 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.
“My own plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan’s country, or shot over the edge of the world into some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise.”
~~ Reepicheep the Mouse
My coracle moon, drifting in and out of the clouds that morning, seemed unmoored. Yet I knew that it was held in its orbit with the earth by that 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 being guided by a mighty unseen Hand.
Like Columba, like Reepicheep, I can rest in God’s great plan.