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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Always a Pane of Glass

Linda sat, her back against the trunk of the maple tree, the textbook open resting on her lap.   Two young brown squirrels playing tag on the branches above, the leaves rustling, crackling, then the small spiralling dance of the orange leaf falling downward, landing on the page she was trying to read.  Smiling, Linda looked upward, searching the branches for the to and fro movement of the squirrels she knew were playing there.
Magpie 31
Linda watched as the squirrels were leaping from one tree to the next, darting back and forth, then moving on to a different branch playing the chase game.  She looked to the window, the mirrored reflection of the trees, branches swaying, leaves dancing as had the solitary leaf as it gently came to rest on her pages.

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.


If you enjoyed reading this short tale, check out Magpie Tales for others.  Willow leaves a weekly photo prompt to inspire what is within each of us.

14 comments:

Abhilasha-The Desire said...

An unspoken connection can sometimes run root-deep.. you nipped it well... Nice post

jabblog said...

There was a magnetism there, unknown and answered many years later. Nicely done.

kathew said...

Nice Magpie

Gabriela Abalo said...

sweet Magpie :)

Tumblewords: said...

Nicely done!!

Brian Miller said...

teacher to student to teacher to student...a wonderful telling and there is something about when you get that opportunity...nice mag...

kathi harris said...

I like that - the cycle being completed.

Lyn said...

So tender..beautifully done..you put me there!!

dana said...

I always pride myself on knowing what the ending will be, whether it's a novel or a magpie. You are one of only a few who has shocked and surprised me with an unexpected ending. LOVE IT!

ds said...

Nice tale--the repetition of the cycle. One wonders how far back, and how far forward it goes...

Southwest Arkie said...

Very nice, looking within and without, so to speak. Super magpie!

Jane Doe said...

Very nice story. I love how she can tell the Sister's mood by how she's standing in the window.

~T~ said...

Beautiful description of a personal connection.

Peg said...

You know what is interesting about writing about a picture is that it is all in perspecitve.