Daily Step – What are your cannonball moments?


“Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous to be understood.”

These words start one of Mary Oliver’s beautiful and thought-provoking poems while the words in this image finish it. 

They are the words I’m sitting with this morning in prayer.

In honor of the Ignatian Year, I wrote three different pieces on cannonball moments for various online publications. Cannonball moments are those moments that upset your balance and alter your path in ways you never expected named after St. Ignatius’s literal cannonball to the leg that brought us to Ignatian Spirituality and the Society of Jesus.

And yes I had three to write about – I’m sure I could think of more. I’m guessing you could too!

The second of those three pieces came out today over at IgnatianSpirituality.com. I almost laughed out loud when I clicked the site this morning and saw the title they chose because it encapsulated the story so well – “Cannonball D.” 

No, it doesn’t stand for the forth cannonball in a series.  

Instead, it stands for a grade. My final grade in a class my sophomore year of college. A grade that changed me and altered the path to who I am today.

As I read through what I wrote about that grade again this morning, these words of Mary Oliver’s came to me. After all, I’m still figuring out bits and pieces to the mystery of that cannonball. Truth be told, sometimes your life has cannonballs and shrapnel and diverted paths that you may never fully understand. Even if you recognize them for what they are years later, the totality of the experience may still remain a partial mystery even to you.

But that’s the God in it. Isn’t it? The parts I don’t understand and may never understand… the answers I don’t have to the questions I’ll never stop asking…

When I am struck by what I can’t decipher,  I want to be a person like Mary Oliver describes. One who says “Look!” and laughs in astonishment and bows her head.

You can check out my quite vulnerable cannonball moment here.

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