Orbono, My Lady

There are things I remember clearly as a child, and things I do not.  One would think my first day at a new school would be something I remember, but I can’t. When I think of the Oboro School for Wayward Boys, I think not of the first day I was at school, but the smell of freshly waxed linoleum, and gold toned light of the sun shinning through the windows of the long halls, and the Chapel.

The school was set up like a huge letter T, the great double doors at the bottom.  First through the doors was the office, and  the anteroom to the Chapel.  A hall went around each side, to the dining hall and  classrooms, then at the legs of the T, one went left to the boys dorm, the other right to the girls.   I can never forget the chapel.  A statue of Our Lady Orbono stood her feet above the alter, her head nearly reaching the apse.   Her arms were outstretched reaching towards us, the lost children, and her face looked down kindly, her brown hair lose around her shoulders.

She is the patron Goddess of children, and by association, orphans, and by association bastards, and by association she is a common goddess of military sons (Instead of Disciplina), and by association lost causes, and by the last two…she is my Goddess.  When I pray to her, she carries my prayers to the Holy Couple. I’m 9 and quite proud of myself for knowing I am not really praying to the statue, the statue helps me think about My Lady. It is my heart that prays and not my lips or eyes, and that  statue reminds me of her love for me.

My father was gone, and my mother preferred to have this troublesome lad off her begloved hands. A man’s life passes through the hands of many gods as he moves through life’s seasons.  There are the Holy Couple and all gods fall under them, appointed by them to sheppard us through our days.  Alemona, Decima and Nona protect us in the womb, Candelifera guides to Diana. Fabulinus guides our first words and so on.  But Orbono, my goddess, was special. By losing my father, Orbono became my goddess forever.  A person is but a child for a short time, but a boy is a bastard from the moment of his fathers’ death.

I cannot remember speaking to the Headmaster, or being given the little brass tag with my bed number. I cannot remember laying out the contents of trunk on the mattress. I cannot remember being given a number. I remember all of these things as an older child, helping the younger ones with their first day.  I don’t remember the visit to the doctor though I do remember, I did not have consumption, or the spinal-go-to-Isis.)

All I remember clearly about my first day is looking at Orbono, My Lady…forever.