Like a dumb beast

Yesterday as I drove up our hill in the early evening, I smelled a very “city” smell: a mix of refuse, scent, flowers, and animal droppings.  As I reached the crest of the hill and started down, I could see the glow of sunset in one corner of the sky, and things had the saturated coloring of early twilight.

This evening I knelt in a tiny adoration chapel.  Through the window I could hear a train whistle in the distance; then an ambulance, over the low sound of car motors.  I looked at Jesus, and thought about the sound of the train whistle, which brings back my childhood.  I’m still here, and so has Jesus ever been.

We had said a rosary earlier, and now had a few moments of silent adoration.  We sang the Salve Regina.  I sat at Mary’s feet and put my head on her knees.  I said, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy,” and I knew she would understand.

I watched as the sister lit the incense for Benediction.  I saw the tiny plume of smoke, and waited for the scent to spread.  I smelled the sweet smell, and was hit with Dad.

It wasn’t an image, or a feeling; it was just, Dad.  And I started to cry.  I who had told two people in the last two days in a very matter-of-fact way about my dad’s passing in the summer time.  The sisters began the Tantum Ergo and Divine Praises, and I tried to say the words but mostly failed.  I have heard that the Holy Spirit has a gift of tears.  I don’t know if it was that, but I am pretty sure it was a gift.

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