Monday, August 20, 2007

Don't let the cows see you laughing

Yesterday, my little Carmel group met for one of our twice-a-month meetings (Patricia declared us to be done with St. John of the Cross as we finished with our discussion of his poem, "The Lover and the Beloved"; we are starting in two weeks with Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity.) The girls came with me, bringing their prayer books, Rummikub and the Pirates of the Caribbean LIFE game, plus water bottles - an interesting choice of items, I thought.

It was wonderful to be there with them in the church before the Blessed Sacrament, hearing them make the responses as we prayed the ancient words of the psalter together. Teaching them to pray the Liturgy of the Hours (lauds and vespers) is one of the best things I think I've ever done as part of our homeschool's religious education curriculum.

On our way home, we scraped up enough money out of my Vera Bradley change purse, known affectionately as "Quilty," and the floor of the van to buy iced teas for the girls and a Diet Coke for me at McDonald's, then headed our way merrily home. I was pleased because I really like Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity (she's very simple and sweet and thus understandable to a thickheaded person like myself - St. John of the Cross was very, very deep and don't even get me started on St. Teresa Benedicta...even her autobiography was hard for me to understand). Meelyn was pleased because she had won three out of four games of Rummikub; Aisling was not pleased because she deeply wanted a snack wrap from McDonald's.

So we were whizzing along the interstate and we passed this herd of cows, standing out in the heat and the sun, staring haughtily at the cars driving along.

As we approached them, I noticed that the cows weren't standing in the grass; they were standing in a pond, up to their udders in water. All of them. Just standing there, enjoying the cool water on their nether regions, cloaked in that ineffable bovine dignity that always makes me feel that laughing at a cow is as socially unacceptable of laughing at a nun. A nun standing in a pond. Because everyone knows that the only thing one could say in such a circumstance would be, "Hello, sister. Is the water pleasant today?"

We waited a few miles, until we'd crossed the Mississinewa, before we started giggling.

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