Public speaking has long been one of my fears. But if every crowd looked as benevolent...but I'm getting ahead of my story.
After Midnight Mass, we joined the throng in the vestibule, the children and I talking among ourselves, waiting for my husband to come down from the choir loft, along with what seemed like 100 people, talking quietly or waiting for someone.
And then my sensitivity to the incense we had just left and a draft from the door opening hit me together, and I began to sneeze. After the seventh sneeze I looked up. The stillness was like that of the church, as every smiling face was turned toward me. Time stood still.
I thought of "thank you", as I'm sure people probably had said "God bless you" while I sneezed. I thought of "excuse me", but somehow it seemed it would fall short of what needed to be said. Life seemed to be in suspension, and the spell needed to be broken. So I released them by saying with a confident smile, "I'm done!"
It occurred to me that perhaps I could do public speaking, after all.