Friday, July 20, 2012

Leading my Sheep

“Peace be with you”,  I said to my congregation. “And also with you”, I imagined them saying in response.

I had learned to read before entering Kindergarten and now, at the age of five, I was saying Mass, using a borrowed church missalette to guide me. I stood behind an 18 inch tall wooden piano bench, my altar, and a devout group of stuffed animals sat at one of two pews, the three foot long foam pillows taken from the den’s day bed. The den, sunny and warm, was set a few rooms away from the kitchen where Mom often worked, baking cookies or the evening’s dinner.

Did Mom ever tip toe over to the den’s doorway to eavesdrop on my homilies? If she did, I never noticed, for I was a serious priest who led her sheep faithfully. I was not easily distracted. When it came time for communion, I turned to the plate of thumb-pressed pieces of cheap white bread and placed an ecumenical host in front of each sheep, dog, kitty, elephant, or lion.

“You can’t be a priest you know”, my brother Kevin told me one day, “but you could be a nun”. I shook my head in protest. I did not want to become a nun. Nuns do not say Mass and that is the most exciting part of it all. Anyone knows that!

[The above is a "scene" that might be inserted in my current memoir project. This could be the start of a longer essay piece or part of a chapter, or both. I don't have time tonight to complete it, as other homework looms over me, but I wanted to share it as I had a lot of fun writing it this morning].  

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