I've probably never been as exposed to religion in my entire life as I was during my first four years of boarding school at Pratt. We knelt by our beds every night to say a prayer as well as before every meal. Our school had a Church that we visited every Sunday morning and I learned to sing hymns from the Bible and make a cross in the air with my hand. I was too young to grasp the concept of religion then, but I do remember looking forward to going to Church. It was a chance to escape the four walls of the hostel and come in contact with the "outside world". I also loved the architecture, the stained glass and how the Church smelled. After Church I went to special Bible class by choice because I was intrigued by all the stories. I knew all about Christianity before I knew anything about Hinduism.
So naturally Christmas was big at my school. Before we closed for the Holidays, the boarders put up an annual show and party. Imagine my excitement when I was told I would be the "Guiding Star" and would be in costume and makeup. The play was going to depict Jesus being born and only a handful of junior dorm students were selected to be in character and I was one of them. I was elated. However, Jesus must have noticed my yawns at Church and I fell sick right before the play. High temperature had me lying in bed at our "Sick Room" for days and I missed rehearsals. One evening Tota came to visit me and let me know that she was given my role. That night I cried - I was so sad. I did end up being in the play but as a last minute addition where I had to enter with a bunch of girls and skip and hop and leave. I was not in costume and had to wear one of my own outfits.
It still intrigues me how I did not end up being all that religious after all of that. Maybe because I eventually realized that people think being religious makes up for all the wrong they do. However, I am thankful for the life I've had, the experiences that have taught me so much, loved ones and now my daughter. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - amen!