Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Boreham on Coincidence (8)

This is the eighth in a series by F W Boreham from his essay The Long Arm of Coincidence, soon to be included in the forthcoming book, The Best Essays of F W Boreham.

A pair of nuns had glided silently up the Cathedral aisles, and, the movements of the elder of the two having been arrested by a question from an attendant, the younger moved slowly on and was waiting for her companion at a spot close to Lucy's elbow.

`You are interested in Saint Teresa?' asked the young nun, in slightly foreign but strangely musical accents.

`I was wondering why she is represented as carrying flowers,' Lucy replied with diffidence.

`Saint Teresa loved flowers—roses particularly', explained the pale-faced nun. `She planted red roses all round the grounds of her Convent at Avila, and, whenever she desired to bestow any signal favour upon any of her young nuns, she invariably accompanied it with the gift of a red rose.'

By this time the elder nun had approached, and, with the softest suspicion of a smile, the pair moved on, leaving Lucy alone with the statue.

`Oh, Santa Teresa' Lucy sighed rather than prayed, for she remained standing and open-eyed, `oh, Santa Teresa, the condition of my dear, dear mother must be known to thee. If only thou could'st send me a red rose to tell me of her blessedness! If only thou could'st-and would'st!'

That afternoon, in Melbourne, Beryl was writing to her friend. Lucy was not to worry, Beryl said, everything at the shop was going well. `Make the most of your holiday; stay as long as you can; and come back all smiles.' She was just about to seal the letter when her eye fell upon the vase of flowers with which she had decorated her desk. Almost mechanically she took a small red rose, pressed it, folded it in tissue paper and slipped it into the envelope.

And when, next day, Lucy opened the letter, she was unable to read it. At sight of the red rose, she sobbed as though her heart would break. But her tears were tears of joy and gratitude. And from that moment she never grieved again.

Was it purely a coincidence purely a coincidence? Was it? I wonder! Who shall say?

(To be continued)

Source: F W Boreham, ‘The Long Arm of Coincidence’, I Forgot to Say (London: The Epworth Press, 1939), 87-96.

Image: 'An armful of flowers'.