I feel as if I have pulled away from things and into some sleepy dream,” she thought. “As if I have been tugged from within to without and only now, after so much time, am I receding back into myself…but now my view has become so different. My windows have become winter-frosted and the world is grey and cold.

Margaret got up from her chair and moved slowly to the window of her room to look out upon the wind whipped fields, all stubble since the harvest. The room itself was small, painted a pale egg yolk yellow. It was sparse and institutional which was appropriate because it was a room in an institution. A crucifix hung upon the east wall and from it dangled a rosary.

Saint Lutgardis’s Home for the Aged was the least auspicious of senior facilities. A small, century old, red brick affair with a mere dozen rooms in a bucolic village that seemed to have shrank to less than this even.

Connected to the home by a small brick, many windowed hall was a two story, similarly bricked convent with a mere six nuns and a Mother Superior whose lives were dedicated solely to the care of their predecessors, retired nuns like some odd, self-fulfilling, perpetual motion machine in which the present entered to take care of the past failing to see their own future.

Margaret’s past was once Mother Superior. Once Sister Peter Andrew, a name forced upon her by her mother who wanted a priest in the family which she accepted with humility expected of her. Now she was simply Margaret to all.