Ring Around the Rosary


The rope of beads wound around my grandmother’s wrinkled hand, while the cross swung with the gentle rocking of her chair. She worried each one between her fingers as she said each prayer, then moved on to the next. It seemed an endless chain of recitation to my childish mind, but I assumed it was another adult mystery that would be revealed in time. I didn’t know that there was no answer for this, no magic moment that suddenly made sense of faith and religion. Instead, I did my best to believe, even if the drudgery of saying an entire rosary was beyond my comprehension or capability.

The ritual seemed to calm her. Maybe that was how it worked. It was a form of meditation, and, when you get right down to it, what else is prayer at its most basic essence? The words eventually ran into one another, the meaning but gleaned, and by that point it was simply a matter of a mantra, a chant, a rhythm of speech, a cadence of sounds. The calm and soothing drone of a river of words ~ whispered prayers ~ and an outwardly peaceful disposition belying a raging heart.

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