Lent began last night with nine women around my table drinking wine, sharing a meal and talking about The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida. It was my Book Club. Actually, the splinter club of My Book Club.
One of us had ashes on her forehead. The other Catholics talked about their mothers' faith. Going to sleep holding their rosaries. Lots of talk about mothers and rosaries as if the clutching of a rosary was absurd and not endearing. Sixty-plus-year-old women still needing to note the absurdities of our mothers. Maybe it was the wine.
I want to note the small, often unnoticed things of nature, relationships, moments that grace a day. My day. And write about them. And the one that comes to mind is my remembrance of the conversation last night about rosaries and mothers. One of my friends there recently lost her husband. He died from ALS. A harrowing year watching this once virile, life force of a human decline in lightening speed from a disease from which there is no cure only the sureness of death. I sensed our quiet as we heard the laughter as each person tried to top the other about her mother's grip on the prayer beads Catholic women hold in their hands. I felt our shared sadness listening to this from a group of women who I admire, enjoy.
I imagined the sweet solace and comfort those older women, closer to death than we now assume ourselves, seeking from those familiar beads and the words long encrypted in their souls.
This Lenten season I too seek the comfort and reassurance of a ritual that connects me to God and thus to myself.