In this Italian abbey overlooking the Mediterranean, I’ve stopped searching for a human lover and instead seek divine union. Brides of Christ, we wear gold wedding rings. Most sisters say they’ve found that miraculous merger. I haven’t, yet.
I sometimes recall other waters, an ocean a world away. Many summers ago, decades before the gambling palaces, my family drove to Atlantic City. On a long pier jutting over that ocean, a horse and its female rider would, thrice daily, ascend a tower, dive down sixty feet into a small water tank, and emerge, miraculously, unscathed. Theirs, too, were leaps of faith.