A Bus in the Night

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Extracted from «A Time to Die» (by Nicolas Diat)

When he was the master of novices, Dom Dysmas once took a postulant to the six A.M. bus. During the night, the two men went down to the little main road, near La Correrie.

In the winter, from the Grande Chartreuse onward, it was necessary to make your way through thick snow. Often, gusts of wind slowed the walk.

Below, the bus stop was not marked. An edge of the road, nothing more. Dom Dysmas and the postulant waited patiently. Headlights in the distance. The bus? No, just a car. The time had not come yet. When it finally appeared, Dom Dysmas immediately recognized its illuminated strip. They had just enough time to give each other a hug, hail the driver, load the suitcase. Farewell. One minute later, the bus disappeared into the darkness of the forest, out of sight, and Dom Dysmas remained alone on the side of the road.

For the monks, death is not so different.

In telling me this story, Dom Dysmas spoke softly, with eyes full of kindness: “It’s an old friend who drives the bus; we wave to her as she passes, indicating that, the next time, perhaps it is you whom she will take for the beautiful trip. Or someone else, who knows? But we must leave that to God.”

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