The Little Lost Nun
There was a time when the little wooden nun was not missing. For many years, she stood in procession with her sisters, her tiny hands clasping a beautiful icon, her eyes fixed on the church to which the little wooden procession would lead her. In the beginning, there was no sign that she would not be like the others.
A Rose Inside the Gates
I drove more than three hours over the mountains with a friend and two cranky children, wearing long skirts and long sleeves, with head scarves at the ready and sensible shoes for the unpaved pathways and dirt roads around the monastery grounds. When we pulled in and found a gravelly spot by a tree for the car, I opened the doors and felt the stifled, grouchy air inside the car seeping away into an atmosphere like clear water in an unruffled lake. The little girls relaxed, and the head scarves went on without a murmur. I put my own on as if it were more than a scarf, a cloak, a curtain shutting out time and the long paved road we took to travel here. A nun found us and touched the little girls’ heads in greeting, in blessing.
Knowing What I Looked Like
But life IS in the details! Little things belong to us and create our days. They bother us later, in the middle of the night, or give us lasting satisfaction when we need a break from doubting ourselves. “I was a bad mommy today, but at least I sewed Pooh Bear’s nose back on.” [Actually, my relationship with Pooh Bear’s nose began decades before I gave birth. It was a home-made Pooh Bear with an amazingly globular button nose. We chewed on it. It felt off.]