adventures of c & k: lost in cleveland
I don’t get lost. I might get turned around, but I am almost never* lost. My sense of direction is impeccable – it’s a blessing and a curse, really. I can’t blame tardiness on getting lost because every one knows that doesn’t happen to me; I just run late. But that is beside the point. The point is I have a super-human gift. I can follow directions with great ease. And if they are vague directions that need a little help – I can handle that too. Just give me a map and it’s all good.
But Karl and I got lost on our way home from the Christmas Holiday Tour. I don’t know what happened, but we somehow found ourselves in Cleveland. Not sure where to go, we asked our patron St. Anthony to help us find our way, and he led us to the steps of St. Andrew’s Abbey. Since we were there, I figured we might as well inquire after Br. Paul, even though he’s technically not supposed to have visitors for another six months. Br. Paul’s superiors made an exception and allowed him to visit with us for a short time.
Ok, so Karl and I didn’t really get lost. Br. Paul mentioned in an email that if we happened to “get lost on the way home and find ourselves at the abbey,” his novice master gave him permission to us, and then Br. Paul gave me directions. I hadn’t seen my dear cousin in over a year, and I wasn’t going to let the opportunity pass us by. I was determined, for the first time in my life, to get lost in Cleveland.
I was so excited to see Br. Paul in his habit for the first time and to actually call him by his new name in person and to introduce him to Karl. When Br. Paul came through the parlor doors, my excitement and joy came out in tears.
Our visit was short, but well worth the detour. Br. Paul showed us around the abbey and shared about his life inside its walls. We talked and laughed as if no time had passed since our last meeting, and yet so much has happened to both of us since our last meeting. Br. Paul entered the monastery one year ago, and I moved east a week or so later. We spoke often before he entered about how our journeys paralleled each other. The year had changed us significantly but we are closer than ever, my cousin and me.
I was ever-so-grateful to Br. Paul’s novice master for allowing him to see us and even more grateful that Karl was up for an adventure that required getting lost in a snowstorm.
*Almost never takes into account those two very rare times I was legitimately lost and allows for possibility for future anomalies.