Saturday, January 24, 2009

The fourth vow ring

Time out here from El Salvador stories (though I want you to know I'm very proud of finding the SuperSelectos on Escalon all by myself, and managing to return with the car intact and only three or so digressions). I want to tell you a story about my vow rings.

Our Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace Constitutions say "As a sign of our vowed commitment we wear a silver ring," and so 18 years ago, when I was about to enter the novitiate, I bought a silver ring on a trip to New Mexico. I love New Mexico, where I lived for many years, and I bought a Zuni ring home from New Mexico with thunder and lightning symbols incised in it.

When it came time to make my first vows, a couple of years later, I wasn't sure it was right to use a ring with Zuni symbols on it, and a couple of the Sisters agreed. So I set aside my Zuni ring and bought a nice, plain silver ring and a few months later it fell into the heating duct in the community house in Seattle I was living in. I got another. It fell into the same heating duct, and neither could be retrieved. I bought a third ring, a little more elaborate with a peace dove on it, and I didn't like it. It didn't feel right. I managed to lose it in a car that soon ended up in the wrecking yard (but that's another story). And I took out my Zuni ring and began to wear it.

Now I do lose my Zuni ring periodically, but it always turns up again. Most recently, shortly after coming here, I realized the ring was missing. I searched my room and all the spaces where I thought I might have taken it off. Nothing. I looked in purses, bags, suitcases. Nothing. I checked the pockets in all my clothes. Nothing. But I've learned to be patient about this ring, and I waited for more than a week. Today I put my hand into a jeans pocket I know I looked into before and there was my Zuni ring, turning up again. I think there's a metaphor here, but I leave it to you to find it.


  1. An interesting ring:lost=found=lost=found, etc. story... full of metaphors. Look to the Freudians for your first 18 years!
    Lovely story and silver ring that belongs with you.