By Henrita Frost, SSND
The Mandala by Sister Henrita is in honor of all refugees and migrants who lost their lives at sea.
Refugees and migrants fled
Hoping for new life!
The contemplation of the waters of our Global Community as vessels of drowning for refugees and migrants is indeed heart wrenching. Yet, it is undeniably our global reality and may even sometimes go unnoticed. This week the United Nations’ refugee agency released a report stating that more than 2,500 people, women, children and men, have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea in rubber dinghies and rusting fishing boats so far this year, as of May 2016.
How can we truly know what people were seeking that compelled them to risk their lives and subject themselves, and perhaps their loved ones, to a harsh journey and possibly severe treatment by smugglers who may demand their money and possessions. Possibly they were seeking and hoping for peace, stability, a place to be at home, a place just to be. But mournfully they were engulfed by the waters of the sea!
For those refugees and migrants who manage to survive the voyage, pictures will depict the expressions on their faces – tears, pain, exhaustion, confusion, relief – yet, who knows their future – for arrival is only the beginning of a mysterious journey for them, perhaps to something hopefully better, but not always.
In my childhood, I delighted in swimming through rough waters, encountering high waves, falling down and getting up again – falling down and getting up again – catching my breath, I continued breathing. With profound sadness I remember those whose encounter with water deprived them of the capability of breathing. What an unimaginable experience to be stripped, in a sea of your hopes, of the breath of life!
You seekers of peace
We honor your voyage to peace
May you rest in peace