Sunlight filters through the stained-glass windows, enhancing the beauty of the medieval church with its tall walls and high ceilings.

Row after row of relatives and friends, seated in pews, patiently await our arrival.

You may not be aware of it little one, but this is a special day for our family.  And a very special day for you.

Cradling you tenderly in her arms, your mother takes her place beside your father at the font, while I encircle myself around your tiny little body.

You’re protected now.

***

My own baby daughter was once safe and tenderly cradled in my arms.  But that was before the plague came and then nobody was safe.  So many lost their lives.  So many families.  My son, the lone survivor of ours.

I wasn’t able to protect my baby girl.   But I vowed then to protect those who came after.  Those who went on to live full and happy lives.

***

It was a beautiful service and you made not a sound, not even when holy water was poured over your forehead.  Unlike your father and others that came before him.  I can still recall their cries resonating around the church on their special day.

Spring sunshine warms the air as we stand on the church steps, waiting for our photographs to be taken.  You, me, your mother and father first.  After which, we’ll be surrounded by smiling faces, all wanting to share this happy moment.

“What a lovely christening shawl,” a voice enthuses.  “How very delicate it is.”

“It’s been in my family for centuries,” your father explains.  “Traditionally wrapped around generations of babies.”

Gently, he runs his fingers over the soft ecru lace.  Can he feel my presence?  Or has it been dimmed by time?

“What stories it could tell,” he muses.

Ah yes, my darling 21st-century grandson, what stories indeed…

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Voice-Team
Voice-Team(@voice-team)
Admin
6 months ago

Beautiful story of tradition and transcendence. The description of the medieval church set the tone from the beginning, and the ending was unexpected and satisfying.

Sandra OReilly
Sandra OReilly(@sandra-oreilly)
7 months ago

Hi Linda this is lovely, you have the setting just right. What mysteries and stories does the shawl hold? It would be interesting to find out.

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Allan Neil
Allan Neil(@allan-neil)
7 months ago

How beautiful, Linda. The hurt and catastrophe of the past and the serenity of the present in the eyes and heart of the storyteller. I wanted to be in that church and be blessed.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
7 months ago

It is an awesome story, Linda. I am intrigued to find out the hidden mysteries. Good job.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Linda Rock
7 months ago

You’re welcome, Linda. Yes. I can’t wait to find out. I am hoping for part two of this story, Linda. 

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Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
7 months ago

So delicate and so poignant, like the beautiful lace of the christening shawl! Time loses significance when love is around, the love of an ancestor willing to bestow protection on her blood, on her beloved descendants. I love it, Linda, I do!

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
7 months ago

A gentle mystery surrounds your story Linda. It was a sweet surprise that the protagonist was not actually at the christening ceremony.

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
7 months ago

Linda, this is a beautiful story. The stained-glass windows, the medieval church, the baptism font – all set the scene for a tale of love that never ends. Very fitting for the week of Valentine’s Day. Love comes in many forms, and transcends time, illness and even death. Lovely writing.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
7 months ago

What a beautiful story about family traditions, protection across the generations, loss and love, sorrow and happiness, Linda. I saw in your comment to Sandra that the shawl used in your story was made in 1665! That’s impressive! So many generations of babies who have used it, then lived long or short lives, before passing on and maybe be present around their younger family members as protective spirits. Very nice! I wonder how the storyteller turned out on the photo, taken after the christening outside the church.

Melissa Taggart
Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
7 months ago

I love this picture and name for your story, Linda. I did feel wrapped up in mystery while reading this. There is the perfect amount of both sorrow and sadness here. Beautiful writing, Linda. Your stories never disappoint.

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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
6 months ago

Linda, your story was so beautifully told. The entire time, right up to the part where ‘a voice’ commented on the shawl, I was wondering who this mysterious person is who would be on the photos, but who has been around for centuries. It is so sad that your protagonist couldn’t protect her own baby, but absolutely selfless to vow to protect those who was born after that. This is a great story.

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Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
6 months ago

I love this story, Linda. It transcends time and place, and even death. How lovely to think of an ancestor watching over the newborn child, and being present there in the church for the christening. The shawl is the thread that holds all the various lives together, and a wonderful centerpiece for the story. Great picture as well!

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