sunrise over swamps

sunset over melancholy seas

Poem 29 of 30

on April 29, 2013

The fence harboured a little sanctuary: the tiny cottage with its verandah and rose bushes and palm trees, home to the nuns in their brown habits.

They were gardeners, artists and teachers. To walk along the gravel driveway between the convent and the school

was to walk a mysterious path. It seemed that a sense of awe and stillness settled over the house

so small but in my childish eyes it was a mansion.

There was the one day one of the sisters allowed me to peer in the front door.

I saw framed paintings of saints,

a crucifix on the wall,

and then we were sent on our way with some errand of particular importance.

I imagine none of those nuns, were they alive today,

would know the power of imagination they wielded over the little country girls

in our grey pinafores and grey jumpers and grey stockings.

It was an outpost of God’s Kingdom on Earth,

the little house with its garden and verandah

so plain and simple to the eyes of an adult

but, to a child, the home of mystics.

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