“For more than 140 years, this site has welcomed people from all walks of life and from all around the world.”
The building took on a new role in 1899, when it was purchased by the Sisters of St. Joseph, a Roman Catholic order of sisters dedicated to caring for orphans and the elderly, educating young girls, and ministering to the poor. Under its new name, Mount St. Joseph Mother House served as both an orphanage and a convent for the sisters.
[from History Of The Mount]
But I didn’t know any of this back in the fall of 2011 when Tim and I were there. The whole site was established in 1867, exactly 100 years before I was born.
As Tim lay recouping from surgery across the road, I stumbled across that busy crossroads, climbed the steeply terraced lawn, making my way around, towards this haven, that soft duvet, a quiet room. Maybe a hot bath, and a reprieve, if just for a few hours.
I returned, over the days ahead, and I began to explore. Venturing out the door, and making my way down the stairs, and around and down the paved path, and I discovered the Grotto dedicated to Mary. I found the Cottonwoods all lined up in the forest beyond. I found the wooden footbridge. I found the grove of Oaks.
I found a path forward, and the path back.
The essence of the divine Mother is present.
There is so much symbolism, of Tors, and mounds of venus, and the very womb itself, it’s all there. It is THE MOTHER, in all her guises. She blesses, she listens, she bares witness.
So there I am yesterday, cycling back through that time, recycling all those old memories. Sitting together again with Tim at the Grotto, wondering if any of his prayers were answered. And I hear a voice outside my door.
And who should come through my hedgerow, but another wounded soul, another lost one.
It had taken me almost two hours to craft that poem yesterday Mom. You know I just finished the final edit and had just hit PUBLISH. I could feel this sense of relief wash over me, with the last of the tears from that day. They were actually still wet on my cheeks as I came to the door.
And who do you think I found there?
Who?!!! Just guess.
So, yeah, it was my blue.eyed.man, again. Unprovoked, there he was. With broken ribs, I guess, and like a cat, I suppose he’s used up another one of his lives. With cuts on his forehead and a wounded look in his eyes, he appeared barefoot before me.
Yes. Barefoot. As in, he was not wearing shoes. Says he tries to not wear them as much as possible. The only nod to tameness he seemed to give, was that he was wearing shorts, otherwise, I imagine he would just go around naked.
Oh, and he says “Come over sometime “…which translated to come over right now, today, this minute. I told him, No. He said he’ll be around all week. It takes a lot to hurt this one, you know. He must have really given himself a good knock this time.
I’m trying not to think about this, I am. I’m trying. Barefoot men with no shirt on don’t often poke through my hedgerow, just so you know.
It has me a little distracted.
Tis he a sweet, or evil distraction? Ah, that now is the next question I have no answer to. Yet. Shitballs, Mom. Shitballs.
I hadn’t forgotten about him, not exactly. Not after all this time. Why, after all, this time? What the heck could he possibly want? Let’s just say, it felt very strange, and I did not know what to say to him, and so I actually said very little. I smiled, I was polite, I hugged him back, but I was distant. Silent.
He said this, he said that. Damn him for saying anything at all.
What do you think he wants? Why just at that time? Just after I’d published that poem. Just after I’d torn away from the sadness from that time, just as I’d washed some more of that grief from my soul, that’s when he shows up?
So, I woke up an hour earlier then I had to this morning because I had to write some of this down. Had to get some of it off my chest, I guess. This. Oh, Mom, this man, I do not know what I’m going to do about this man.
I really don’t.