There, beyond the pane of glass, Sister Mary Catherine stood, her back to the window. Linda had seen her there many times before, as she sat here in her favorite study spot under the maple trees. So often that Linda was even beginning to learn the meanings of her stance.
Brisk pacing, moving to and fro as had the young squirrels moved on the branches above, that meant someone, whomever had done something... They were hearing the stern words of the latest lecture on the ill-chosen deeds they had done. Standing off to the side of the window pane, the veil pulled ever so slightly back, yet not directly facing the glass... meant she was enjoying the solitude, the beauty of the maple trees towering over the wall of the courtyard as it approached the ornate gates that led to the gardens. Probably, in the winter, when there were no leaves on the curving branches of these tall maples, Sister Mary Catherine could see the colors of the solitary roses that would surprise everyone, standing tall over the white blanket covering the gardens.
Or, on rare occasion, when Linda would look upward, she would catch a glimpse, just before Sister turned away, the smile as she looked downward, seeing Linda there, under the maples, diligently working on her studies. At these moments, though neither Linda nor Sister Mary Catherine ever spoke of these moments, Linda felt there was a deep connection between the two.
It wasn't until years later, when Linda would return, seeking answers, direction, that she and Sister Mary Catherine would truly understand the connection they had developed there beneath the tall maple trees, a pane of glass always separating them. This time, both Sister Mary Catherine and Linda stood beyond the pane, looking down, seeing yet another young women sitting under the tall maples, her back up against the trunk, now her favorite study spot. This time, both smiling ever so slightly, before turning away to continue their discussion about when Linda would enter the convent.
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