Rain fell, as it washed away the day’s sins. On a deserted street corner, hidden between a medley of discarded cardboard boxes lay a dolls house- tattered and worn. Standing at 3 stories high, it had clearly seen better days, although on close inspection, it was obvious that it had-at least at some point in its life- been beautiful. In this house lived a doll. She, like the house that she inhabited was not in the best condition- not least because she had been battling against the elements for quite some time- a feat that neither house nor doll were fully prepared.

A few streets along, 3 holy women sat in meditative contemplation- their rosy cheeks illuminated in a warm glow from the lamp in the far corner of the room. As their time came to a close, the 3 ladies settled into their usual routine and began making preparations for their evening stroll. As the three women set off, each wound a thick woollen scarf around her neck in a bid to escape the autumn chill. The last of the ladies picked up her keys as they began their journey, along with a stack of letters, ready for posting- signed, sealed and stamped as well as a day-old newspaper. As they made their way down the concrete steps, a single street lamp partially lit up an otherwise blackened street. Suddenly, a sharp gust of wind blew the newspaper out of the hands of the holy lady and cascaded in an inky waterfall down the steps and onto the pavement below. As the pages flew, spiralling in various directions, all 3 ladies rushed to collect them- with each step attempting to shield themselves from the warring gusts. Pages were strewn all over the street,having tumbled without thought across various stations- oblivious in their panic to the chaos that they were causing. As the holy ladies navigated their way into the corners and crevices to retrieve the articles, it became apparent that a large portion had become separated from the rest. They searched- unable to find the missing piece, until at last – after what seemed like an eternity- the smallest of the holy ladies noticed the resting place of the final pages and made her way across the street to retrieve it.

It was this that led her to the discovery of the doll and her ramshackle abode.  As she got closer and closer, she noticed that the pages had rested gently against the partially unhinged door of an abandoned dolls house. She knelt down and peered inside, curiously- keen to discover what was inside. As her marble eye lent gently against the lowest window, she scanned inside- as she struggled to focus on any particular aspect of the interior due to the a combination of the murky backdrop and the dust that had settled finely across the surfaces. Amongst the rubble, barely visible, was the partially covered face of the doll. She was laying against an old chest of drawers, wide-eyed and still. The holy lady reached deep inside the house and gently picked her up. As they studied each other for a moment, the holy lady wrapped her treasure in several inches of scarf and gently placed her in the pocket nearest to her heart. As the doll was carried back to the house, caressed by the cotton fabric of her rescuer- she felt warm, almost as though she was sat directly in front of the sun- its fire lighting the way and forming a protective shield between her delicate body and the harsh realities of the world.  Ordinarily, the walk would have lasted a short while longer, however, the elements were not in their favour on this evening so they decided to make their way back. 

The women approached the house,  eager to return to the comforts of their home. They entered, gradually removing their outer layers and settling back into the main room where they had sat previously. The doll was taken out and placed on a cushion whilst the three ladies made preparations for the evening in their usual manner. She was awkward-looking, frozen and unsure- her crimson dress in stark contrast to the muted surroundings. There was no uncertainty amongst the three women, however. They spoke, laughed and joked – carefree in each others company- an unrelenting acceptance, visible with each interaction. Soon- the evening meal was ready. The ladies began to take their places as the doll watched from afar, observing. Suddenly, without warning- she was raised! Like the Lord himself, she was sure she was being resurrected! And then in seconds- she was placed- secure on the lap of one of the holy ladies. What a whirlwind! She was content- pleased at her rapid and welcoming initiation. The ladies joined hands and prayed. The usual thanks were made- for their food, their home and- to the surprise of the doll- for their newly appointed kin. The days remained typical – repeating with little variety and yet remaining magical in their own right. With every moment, the 3 holy ladies cared for the doll.  She was stitched, dressed and comforted- every fibre taken care of. The improvements were slight at first, but gradually she was reconstructed- her scarred fabric merged with additions from the holy ladies, joining to make her new self.  And so she was whole. Animated- as she was alive.

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