Baptist Nuns…Once Upon a Time
Once upon a time in a land far away..no actually in this very city..I was a little girl. The dinosaurs had just died out leaving more room for people. For they were huge and took up an awful lot of room.
TV had just come on the market, ice cream cones were five cents, comic books were a nickel..I think, which is a lot like five cents, and when you got a quarter you were living high on the hog.
My house was on Spadina Road just down the street from St. Mary’s Hospital. Yes, my house…when the dinosaurs were gone, there was plenty of room for houses. My street has a lovely boulevard. Well it was almost lovely, marred just a little by a huge metal tower.
Anyway it still was quite a lovely street back then, new houses, big yards and. of course the boulevard.
In those days nuns lived at the hospital and in the early evening they would stroll down the street. I am not sure how old I was when I first saw them, maybe five, maybe younger.
It was love at first sight. Those flowing black gowns, long chains with crosses, the starchy white framing their sweet faces. They seemed to float all angelic like.
I knew at that very moment I wanted to be a nun! Over time I heard nun stories about them having to shave their heads and never have money but I didn’t care. I was going to wear the outfit! I was going to be angelic!
Of course they never seemed to wear lipstick and that bothered me a tad.
Not that I wore lipstick at five but I knew one day I would.
Oh and the other minor glitch? I was Baptist. I had no idea there were no Baptist nuns. Sigh…….
23 Apr 2011 37 Comments
Baptist Nuns…Once Upon a Time
13 Apr 2011 12 Comments
The Woman on the Train and What is Wrong with Enlightenment
Last year I travelled to Toronto by train every day for three days. The first morning I chatted with a woman, not the one in the title, but a very nice gal who was a teacher doing some work for the Ministry of Education. She was fascinating and we clicked. Going home that evening I saw her again at the train station and we picked up our conversation from the morning. This went on each of the three days.
When I got to the station at the end of the third day I did not see my friend right away so chatted with a pleasant woman while we waited for the boarding call. The woman said she had been to a hospital in the city for an appointment. I didn’t pry into her health issues and she talked a bit about her life. There was something very strange about her, an aura, a radiating peace. She appeared to be smiling even when she wasn’t, speaking softly but with great power and at the same time seeming amazingly humble. I was in awe just looking at her and could not understand why. I felt for some reason I was in the presence of greatness but could not give it definition.
I spotted my friend further down the queue and knew she would be looking for me so I excused myself even though I did not want to move. Shaking my head in puzzlement I went to join my friend.
On the train this strange woman was sitting by herself in one of those sets of seats where four face each other. I asked if we could join her. We three chatted about nothing in particular. Then this strange woman looked at me -into me-and told me her story quietly. And all else ceased to exist.
She said her appointment had been to assess her status. She said that her mother and two sisters had died of cardiomyopathy (a deadly heart condition). It was genetic. I whispered to her, “And you have it too?”
She nodded. The only cure was a heart transplant but it could not be done until a certain point had been reached in her condition. I knew from experience that often when patients reached that point their condition often worsened and they died before a heart came available. And still she radiated joy and incredible peace.
My friend and I got off the train before that woman’s stop. As we walked away, my friend asked if this condition was serious. I told her that the woman is walking with death.
I think of her often and feel I was blessed to have been in her company.
Enlightenment – and finding it has been on my mind for a long time. I have read some things that made sense but I also read a book on enlightenment that just didn’t feel right. It calls for us to wake up in the the morning and start jumping and yelling YES! YES! It says that to be financially rich have friends gather around and shower us with money, literally. It said a few things that perplexed me. It might come to your mind that I am frequently perplexed.
But then the thought came to me recently………the woman on the train was true enlightenment. She was one with God, the universe or whatever our centre is. No yelling. No jumping. Just incredible peace and joy and love and gentleness and humility.
I don’t know if I will ever see that kind of thing again. I just know that for a short time I was closer to purity than I have ever been. And I am humbled.
28 Mar 2011 8 Comments
Watch out for the Rattlers,…..You Must be CANADIAN
In the nineties I lived in Texas for a couple of years. The first year was in a delightful little town of about fifteen thousand known as Uvalde.
Uvalde is quaint and is the birth place of Dale Evans and Matthew McConaughey.
Almost no one knows the former, much to my shock, …what not know the Queen of the Cowboys, the wife of Roy, friend to Pat and Trigger, Happy Trails to you and all of that?
Of course everyone recognizes the latter and sad to say he left town the year I arrived I believe, taking those wash board abs off to Hollywood. I try not to pout very much about that as my friends scold me ….for God’s sake Chris, he was only about seventeen at the time…yada yada yada..you can imagine what they say about my Twilight obsession. (Note to self: Calm down, breathe and get your mind back on the story!).
Where was I? Oh yes, this story doesn’t even include Uvalde but it was a starting point. Oops my excitement is getting the better of me. It does include Uvalde.
Anyway as Director I lived in a lovely little house nestled between two mansions on Highway eighty-three. Actually mine was the only small house there and I loved it.
I recruited some nurses from other states and from Canada to work for me and there was a significant group of Canucks that lived in an apartment complex in town. Come Canada Day, they hung flags from balconies and partied. Well truth is they partied at the drop of the hat. They were all young and boisterous.
One night when I was visiting, a group of them had to report for work at the local hospital for the night shift at twenty-three hundred hours. It was a pleasantly warm night so the five of them decided to walk on down the highway.
They were about halfway there when a state trooper pulled over, got out of his car and started yelling at them. “Y’all get in this car right now!”. You have to be Canadians!”. Not said with awe or respect, but more like..how dumb can you be?….
Seems that when the sun went down the reptiles, which by the way are huge..like to lie across the highway soaking up the heat from the road.