An October Morning

It’s an October morning and the light is soft through the patches of blue that appear between the blanket of cloud.

PeeWee, the orange and white, steps lightly up onto the step and leans against the screen door, not a meow escaping his lips. I put out his bowl of wet food, return for the dry and a tin of water. Little beige Benny is pushing his tiny nose into the food bowl trying to steal some licks of PeeWee’s food.

Doves perch high up upon the wires; no mournful cooing this morning.

Neighbor Mike is already getting trash gathered and has placed out his grey waste can by the roadside.

I sit and eat my porridge and toast and feel the soft cool morning breeze drift in through the screen door. This interlude is brief though. It will be hot soon.

Yesterday the children of the parish received the Holy Spirit and were confirmed, the Bishop laying his hands upon their heads. The music is beautiful; one baby crying. The Bishop reads letters the children wrote to him expressing their feelings about this sacrament that for them is new, and what their vision is for their journey in this faith that they were born into. The Bishop’s garments are bright red from the tip of his hat to the hem of his robe. At early afternoon the heat of the day pervades the church. People fan themselves with their programs. We sing. We pray. We hear the scriptures. Then I receive the host into my palms from the hands of the Bishop. Amen. I take the wine. Amen.

I take photos of each group of families with their confirmation child, the Bishop and the Father posing with them. A woman steps toward me after one photo is taken. She grabs my hand. Tells me her grandson, the confirmed, is joining the Marines. I ask if she is troubled about that. Three years she says, three years he will spend as a Marine. I don’t know this woman; she doesn’t know me. I can feel her grief. I offer that I hope he will not have to kill someone. I offer that I will pray for him. I ask his name. I will write his name on a slip of paper and place it in my prayer box and include him in my prayers each day. Dominic, who will be a Marine.

The celebration is over. I go to leave the church and as I push against the door I am stopped by the Bishop who rushes up to me saying thank you. He embraces me and kisses me on my cheek. I kiss his cheek.

I drive home to sit in front of the air conditioner to wait out the heat until I can open the door and window vents to let in the fresh evening breeze off of the ocean.