People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars . . . and they pass by themselves without wondering. —St. Augustine, Confessions
Howard Thurman loved to watch the ocean. It gave him a sense of “the ebb and flow of circumstances”. Storms did not frighten him, “unafraid I was held by the storm’s embrace.” They gave him an “overring immunity against most of the pain with which I would have to deal in the years ahead when the ocean was just a memory. The sense held: I felt rooted in life, in nature, in existence.”
“Here on the river I have known peace and beauty such as I never knew in any other place. There is always work here that I need to be doing and I have many worries, for life on the edge seems always threatening to go over the edge. But I am always surprised, when I look back on times here that I know to have been laborious or worrisome or sad, to discover that they were never out of the presence of peace and beauty, for here I have been always in the world itself.” ~ Wendell Berry
Howard Thurman talks about the island of peace in the soul. An anchor of hope and stability in the tumultuous sea of our responsibilities and decisions, pressures and injustices. Here we bring our dreams and purposes into the presence of the God of our heart.
“Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it toward others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world.” ― Etty Hillesum