Sunday, July 21, 2013

Full Habit, Full Sail

Two weeks ago, we'd have been finishing up our sailing trip. I've been remembering a scene that I don't want to forget.
As we sailed back towards the marina, we passed a boat going out. At first, it looked like any other boat. But as it passed us, we realized it was full of nuns--roughly 6-8 of them.

You might ask how we knew they were nuns. They were dressed in full habit--the traditional habit that nuns used to wear. So, on an afternoon that had highs in the mid-90's, they wore long robe-like, white garments with long sleeves and their hair was completely covered.

Still, they looked like they were having a good time. Two of them reclined on seats with their faces turned up to the sun. Some of them stood and surveyed the horizon. Several men were also on the sailboat, but I couldn't tell if they wore collars or not.

I'm not sure why it seemed like such a disconnect. I've known monastic communities and read about them, and I realize that they're as human as any of the rest of us. But I've never seen anyone in full habit out on the Chesapeake Bay or any other place body of water.

What would it be like to take a sailing trip with nuns?  Would we talk about God and the glories of God's creation?  Would we nap?  What kind of picnic would we have?

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