Wednesday, 24 December 2008
Little old lady
While I was weeding the garden, I heard a woman talking on the street. Our street is not exactly the kind you stroll around in; it has no footpath and our house is situated on a dangerous bend. I paid no attention until I realised that the voice was that of a woman who I knew.
She's about a hundred years old, walks with her back bent, and her walking frame is never far away from her. She lives down the road from our house. Every Saturday without fail, come rain or shine, she insists on coming to the iconostasis right across the road from our house and lighting an oil-burning lamp.
Today there was one problem: she lost her way. She's a little blind - aren't all old people?
I decided to help her.
"Come, Kiria Marika, the iconostasis is to your right."
""Who are you?" she asked me while she was in the middle of the road, so that the next car to come speeding up the hill would send her (and myself) flying into the air to another world.
"I'm Maria, now walk to the right."
"Are you new here?"
"Kiria Marika, WALK to the RIGHT!" Where was this woman's daughter, I was asking myself, knowing full well that her daughter could be in the house, and still not notice her mother sneaking out to light the lamp at the iconostasis.
"Are you the cleaning lady? Which house are you cleaning today?"
"Kiria Marika, I'm MARIA from THIS HOUSE!" At this stage, I was getting ready to call for reinforcements.
"Your name's Maria? Do you live here?"
"Kiria Marika, you're now at the iconostasis!" I put her hands on the roof just under the cross. Kiria Marika started making the sign of the cross, praising the lord for getting her to the iconostasis in one piece.
"Oh, it's you, Maria, from the house across the road. I think I almost lost my way, the sun was so bright and I couldn't see where I was going."
You're telling me...