Where do I buy my Nun's outfit?
Asked Rosa the New Postulant.
I had no idea I have a hidden nature to add to my repertoire of skills until that dreaded street man called Stalin arrived here. Please do not think me bad, I do owe my life to this wretched man, but I do feel nervous when in his presence.
This morning the author left his home early to avoid the intense midday heat when he walks over the ridges of the mountain. Stalin silently awaits for him to go and he enters the writer’s private area and heads to his desk. Two computers rest on the desk, and soon he is engrossed in writing to all of you.
I to, plan to do the same, once Stalin has gone. Luckily the Author did show himself but changed his mind in finishing his daily walk and proceed rapidly down the ridge. I suspect he has another story he wishes to relate to his wife in the factory below.
Now, finally, it is my turn to write to you.
You can learn more about us together in Mike Bowley’s “Adventurous Tales from a Mountain Walk.” So, I will say no more, as I do not wish to ruin your enjoyment of the contents of this book.
Now let’s head to my question on where to go to buy my Nun’s outfit?
I remember as if it was only yesterday when I found the nerve to ask Sister Superior this question. She was at that moment deep in meditation and prayer. But being the gentle and all-knowing woman that she undoubtedly was, the question did not in any way upset her.
She stopped what she was doing and turned to face me. Her smile radiated and lit up the whole room.“Well, “Little one with the big voice.” I need to reveal some new information to you. Come and sit with me.”
At which point I cuddled up to her and felt the warmth radiate from her. I looked up expectantly.
“All Nun’s outfits which we call Habits is designed and sewn for each individual sister, depending on which order she is joining. No one place supplies all. Nothing is “readymade” or “Off the Peg” as my mother used to say.
Each habit is deemed to be sacred. As the owner, you will say prayers as you place each piece on you. For you, it will become an important symbol of your devotion to your calling.
As you know, we are a sisterhood of singing Nuns. We often travel around the world passing our message through the power of voice. We wear a mix of white and blue as symbols to the sky and his holiness who sits amongst the clouds.
We also as you are aware, active within our community and do not live a more secluded life as many others around the world prefer.
The colours were chosen also help us to withstand the heat of the day, whereas something like black or brown would cause us discomfort and subsequently overheat us as we work.
There are many components to a Nun’s Habit. These can include veils, tunics, coifs, rosaries and footwear. Many prefer to wear sandals. Myself I like to wear discreet trainers, especially with the amount of walking I do a year up here in the mountains.”
As Mother Superior paused to take in a breath, I shot in, with a burning question “What is a Coif?”
“A good question, and it shows you are listening. Well, a Coif is a cap that is worn under the veil.”
If you choose to join us when it is time for you will wear some form of a girdle, such as a belt, a cincture or a cord.”
“What is a cincture?” I asked with pride showing how devoted I am to learn.
“In simple terms, it is like a belt or girdle that fits around your waist.”
Now my head was full of questions “When its time will I have to have all my hair cut off?”
“In some orders yes you would. But with our order no that is not necessary, although on induction we will request you show a sign like a symbol of your faith by snipping off some of your hair.”
“Can I continue wearing my cross that my parents gave me on my ninth birthday?”
“The Mother Superior reached out and held the cross in her hand, while addressing me “Yes, of course, you may wear this cross. It is a special cross.”
The Mother Superior rose to take a glass of water, the heat this evening was a little oppressive, and the room did not have any air conditioning to keep us fresh. She turned and looked down at me. “I will allow you one more question, and then you must head to bed to sleep and not sing as you usually do.”
We both laughed together knowing snoring was not for me. Singing was everything to my young mind.
“Please tell me what happens at the ceremony of accepting me as a nun?”
The Superior’s eyes rolled up as she realised the magnitude of the question.
“Well Rosa, as you know, there is a period where you are on probation, and you will be known as the Postulant. A date will be set for The Acceptance of the Veil Ceremony where all the nuns in the order will be asked to attend to make the decision on whether you can join them or not.”
She continued uninterrupted “The ceremony will be full of words, prayers and YES songs that initially affirms the order of the nuns deep cohesion followed by your commitment to the same vows.
Before that ceremony can take place, you will return home to your family and friends, its a bit like going into a retreat for several days. The group and I will prepare your ceremony and will invite your family, friends and any benefactors to witness the occasion.
Sister Gabriel who is our talented Mistress of robes will complete the final alterations and ensure your habit fits you like a glove. She will also count the number of pins to attach to your veil to ensure your perfect day will go without a hitch.
You will receive your new name which will complete the transformation of your Novice identity and because you do not have a fathers family name to bear. This part will be more straightforward than most, and it will mark the final stage of you no longer taking an old name but a new name to complete your transformation, from your old family to your new family.”
I sat there looking at the Mother Superior and knew instantly I was never going to sleep tonight. Wondering, what my new name will be? I decided enough questions from me. I hugged and kissed the older woman and quietly left with my heart pounding.
Now I had the answer to my question. I no longer had to fret on how I was going to pay for my Nun’s outfit or I should say Nun’s Habit.
Now, if you loved this encounter, and you wish to read the rest of my story. Then what happened when the mountain road rose and shuddered one clear night will amaze you. Head to the link below and purchase:
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I love you all.