Yesterday, I went to the annual general meeting of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul National Conference taking place on the University of Ottawa campus.
I had trouble finding parking, got partially soaked in the rain trying to find the right building, ended up with wet feet having to traverse puddles that went over the tops of my sandals and everyone who gave me directions did not know where this meeting was taking place.
In fact, one woman I asked directed me to another building when unbeknownst to me, the registration table was just around the corner and I had missed them as I passed by.
My frustrations mounted. I felt like a pin ball betting beaten around by the paddles from one side to another, zig zagging in futility. I would miss the first talk by Gatineau Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher if I did not find this venue soon.
Finally, I saw a nun who was wearing one of those conference name tag thingies around her neck. I asked her where the meeting was and she only spoke French. It became clear she was also lost. She was, I found out later, a Holy Cross sister from Montreal and 94 years old, standing there with her little walker with wheels. Finally, I got an answer from the information desk in that building on where to go. I told her I would be taking the nun with me, so she pointed to a disabled ramp to the building across the courtyard, told me to take the elevator down one floor once I got inside. So, in my terrible French, I persuaded this lovely, cheerful nun to come with me and held my umbrella over her so her white habit would not get wet.
Was my way deliberately blocked? Was I blinded to the registration table as I passed by searching for the meeting? Was there a purpose in the hassle I experienced?
The nun was calm and unflustered as she waited with her walker, unsure where to go.
Anyway, in retrospect it was worth it.