The Dance

I sat there in front of the altar, praying. I was an arm’s length away from the image of the Blessed Mother. She was there too, closer to the Blessed Mother than I was. She had her back to me. Her hands were raised up in reverence.

As I began to recite each prayer, her hands rose and moved sideways. She swayed with the wind. She moved about. She writhed. She moved chaotically despite the serene ambiance.

When I first saw her that evening, I thought of a flower opening. I thought she was an image of stillness. I was wrong. She was like a raging river, not minding what was around her yet confined within her restrictions. She moved about, and I knew she stirred something within me.

She looked as if she wore a veil. She swayed as I enunciate each prayer. She was dancing about, as if in a trance in a deep meditation or ritual. Her movements were peaceful yet unsettling. It was this encounter that made me notice her. I never usually did, not that I saw her before. She is a familiar stranger, I saw her yet it wasn't her but the ones that came before her.

Yes. The ones before her. Only then did I begin to think of them, as I watched her in my prayer.

The prayer was about to close, her frantic dancing began to slow down. As we ended our prayer, I could swear I saw her try to turn around and look at me. I turned my back on her as they extinguished her.

The End

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