Were she to tell the story, she would begin with pleasant details, sweetness on the tip of the spoon, followed by what’s hard to swallow. It was her way.
There were three of them that day, three friends on a holiday at the Cape. First came the picnic from the wicker basket, then stretching out on the sunny beach she loved so well, with one friend on either side. After a time they rose, walked the sand to the lip of the ocean and waded carefully into the warm waters.
Those days she did everything carefully, having lost sight in one eye and all except a small circle of light in the other. “A small miracle,” she said, then laughed a little and added, “They also serve who only stand and wait.” She felt close to the blind poet.
Still, she could see well enough what lay in front of her, always had—the path to the Sisters of Mercy, the teaching at the academy, the journey to serve the poor in Africa, the retreat house she established for the...