Good Zeal

Sister went a-singin’

One morning earlier this week I rounded the corner from our dining room and into the first floor of Ottilia Hall. As soon as I made the turn I heard the muted refrains of chant – sung simply, sung lowly, sung like a slow southern ballad on the lap of a summertime porch.

I paused to figure out who in the world was chanting – and why – since nearly all the Sisters were over in the Retreat Center stuffing envelopes for a monastery mailing.

I also tried to figure out the chant mode. It sounded vaguely familiar, but was so quiet, so subtle, so lazy hazy summer days-y that I just couldn’t quite make it out.

Puzzled, I resumed my trip toward the end of the hall and the source of the singing, only to discover it was not chant at all. It was one of our elder Sisters stuffing envelopes at the Information Desk and smiling ever so happily to herself, and then to me, as she sang verse after verse of Froggy Went a-Courtin’.

Uh, huh. Froggy Went a-Courtin’ was what she was singing as she stuffed envelope after envelope. So much for chant! But as much as I like chant, I was even more delighted to see and hear this elder Sister so happy as she sang.

She couldn’t remember all the verses, and neither could I, but it didn’t matter. It was a moment of simple joy and shared smiles, sittin’ on the lap of a September morn.

Uh, huh. Uh, huh.

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