It is not the convent or the monastery
that owns the concepts of holiness
and repose, of centeredness
and calm, instead it is the home,
the home where the maid sets aside
the broom, the bucket, shows
kindness to a child, where the mother
stands at the doorway, looks outward
in serenity no matter what anxiety she
experiences, waits for a return
that may not come but she believes
so it will come and she knows descent
must precede ascent because that
is how it was done in three days.
Painting: The Courtyard of a House in Delft, by Pieter de Hooch (1658), National Gallery of Art, London.