Yesterday as I was taking leave of Kim two leaves fell on me. I mentioned that as children we'd often attempted to catch falling leaves in the Autumn since in our school it was said that each one brought a month of good luck.
We'd been discussing schools and she'd mentioned being C of E but having gone to a Roman Catholic school. Whereas I'd been unbaptised and gone to a C of E primary school. In my case this meant I was excluded from opening the advent calendar doors or being entered into the end of term draw for the Christmas tree though I still had to sing hymns, say my prayers and attend RE lessons etc.
I've been re-reading old detective stories recently. Yesterday I read the last of the Dorothy L Sayers that I have (though I'm missing some) and decided to read an Antonia Fraser instead... not quite so old fashioned but still firmly 20th century. This one wasn't with the others so I got it out with the idea that I might read it or might not, but would at least file it with the others.
Last night I only got as far as being reminded that Jemima Shore, Antonia Fraser's fictional detective, was described as having been, like Kim, C of E but taught by nuns in a convent.
This afternoon I picked the book up again and got to this description of Jemima's return to visit her old school:
...It was autumn. In the sunshine the convent grounds were immaculate. It was the season in which I first arrived at Blessed Eleanor's as a day-girl. I walked with my mother from my parents' leaf-strewn autumnal garden, which had a kind of rich self-made compost under-foot throughout this season, through to gardens where evidently no leaf was permitted to rest for very long before being tidied away.
"The nuns must catch the leaves before they fall," said my mother jokingly, to leaven the slightly tense atmosphere of a new school. She paused and gulped.
"My God, look at that." We both stopped and observed a nun - young? old? who could tell? - carefully catching a leaf long before it fluttered to the ground. She put it carefully away in a pocket, or anywhere somewhere in the recesses of her black habit.
"Catching leaves is lucky." My mother was quick to seize on an occasion for optimism....
And so should I... :)