Vespers Part I


I added a wide, warm scarf as I left the house Wednesday evening.  It was still cold in March and getting colder towards night.  As I drove down Wisconsin Avenue I saw a big flag being whipped fully stretched out by the wind, and it never fell back toward its pole.  I didn’t want to be out in that cold wind but I was going anyway.  A siren started a ways down the road behind me.  I kept track of the police cruiser in my rear view mirror.  It didn’t turn so I pulled over to the right to let it go by.  Instead it pulled in two cars behind me.  Was I being stopped? The car behind me being stopped?  Neither, it seemed to be stopping at the Psychiatric Institute, a residential facility.  As I went a block farther another police car passed me from the other direction , lights whirling, to the same destination.  Oh no, I thought, what poor soul is having such trouble there to draw that kind of assistance?

On Irving Street I found an easy parking spot and started the familiar walk to my church.  Alertly I crossed the many intersections, sometimes waiting patiently for the walk sign, sometimes jaywalking carefully.  I saw the tall steeple , sharp against the deepening dark blue sky.  The clock face in the steeple was a warm lit yellow-white with its dignified roman numerals. The wide stone stairs to the church were flanked by lanterns with flickering warm lights from candles.  Battery-lit, I knew, but nevertheless inviting the visitor in.

As I entered, the wind wanted to take the heavy door from me and I smiled at the greeter as I used both hands to determinedly pull it closed behind me.  I didn’t want any sound, as I knew the next room would be the quiet sanctuary.  It was quiet, though in the low light I could see many people were there.  Softly I made my way up the aisle, looking for that space that would feel comfortable.  I settled into a short left-side pew, empty but for me.

I could see the back of the chorus director at the piano bench.  I could see a sliver of the guitarist behind a pillar.  I kept my coat on for a little bit.  I settled my two feet flat on the floor and I uncurled my hands and placed them softly palm down on my thighs.  And I took a deep breath.  And another.

To be continued.


7 thoughts on “Vespers Part I

  1. Beautiful and poetic! I was with you every moment as you carried me along, showing me what you saw, heard, felt and thought. I’m curious about those police cruisers, such contrast to the peaceful sanctuary of your destination, the church.


  2. I love how you set the scene for me as your reader. I felt as though I was right beside you. I wonder what you’ll write about next. I love the peace and tranquility of church when few have yet entered. I always feel God when I am there.
    Thanks for this moment.


  3. “Softly I made my way up the aisle, looking for that space that would feel comfortable. I settled into a short left-side pew, empty but for me.” Isn’t it funny how some pews just feel right? Your descriptions really make me feel as if I were there.


  4. I am there with you in the moment, noticing everything you point out. I uncurl my fingers and take deep breaths with you… and the words end. But I know that the story doesn’t… and I can’t turn the page! Your description is wonderful, your suspense superb, Fran.


  5. It’s Sat and I have time to read your stories. Your opening setting of the drive with the sirens and then the walk in the wind next to the peacefulness inside hooked me! So did the To Be Continued….. Fav line: As I entered, the wind wanted to take the heavy door from me
    Such action!!


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