Page:Our Philadelphia (Pennell, 1914).djvu/113

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
93
AT THE CONVENT

saw no way to achieve this end except by shutting themselves out of the world and avoiding its temptations. The Ladies of the Sacred Heart are cloistered. They leave the Convent grounds only to journey from one of their houses to another, for care is taken that they do not, by staying over long in one school, form too strong an attachment to place or person. Where would be the use of being a nun if you were not made to understand the value of sacrifice? Their pupils are, for the time, as strictly cloistered. Not for us were the walks abroad by which most girls at boarding school keep up with the times—or get ahead of them. We were as closely confined to the Convent grounds as the nuns, except during the holidays or when a friend or relation begged for us a special outing. It was not a confinement depending on high stone walls and big gates with clanging iron chains and bars. But the wood fences running with the board walk above the railroad and about the woods and the fields and the gardens made us no less prisoners—willing and happy prisoners as we might be, and were. This gave us, or gave me at any rate, a curious idea of the Convent as a place entirely apart, a place that had nothing to do with the near town or the suburb in which it stood—a blessed oasis in the sad wilderness of the world.

There is no question that, as a result, I felt myself in anticipation a stranger in the wilderness into which I knew I must one day go from the oasis, and in which I used