Sr. Vimonrat Sretaraksa is one of my most avid students in English writing. Her main problem in the beginning was to express herself more spontaneously and in a more vivid way. After some lessons and exercises on free-writing, and “show, not tell” — she feels that it is now much easier to describe her thoughts and feelings. This is the final draft of one of her descriptive paragraphs. She mostly revised and edited her previous drafts with the help of some guide questions.
The picture of my perpetual vow ceremony is still colorful in my memory. This is the most important event in my life, the day that I have become a bride of Christ forever. I am led to the Eucharistic celebration accompanied by the beautiful song of the Sacred Heart Choir. In my hand, I hold a lighted candle that is decorated with little white and green flowers; I remember the wise bride who waits until the bridegroom comes. When a grand door opens, I walk on the red carpet that directs me to the sacred altar. On the way, I hear many people sing a lively song as in a big party in heaven. I am like a princess in a long white dress who promenades to the wonderful party. As I bow down at the altar, a spray of sweet floral fragrance greeted me. White lilies, pink roses and purple orchids are bunched together like a lovely garden. I cannot imagine, if I were a tiny butterfly. I would sniff all of the flowers. The significant part of the ceremony is coming, when mother superior calls my name. When I hear her call, I do not hesitate to answer, “I am here.” I have to step out in front of the altar. My left hand holds the lighted candle, while my right hand clutches my statement of vows. My hands are shaking, my tummy grumbles with so many butterflies, but I try to remain calm. I talk to God with my whole heart, yet I cannot do anything even to say “I will love and be honest to you forever; Please help me.” Now, I walk up I walk up the beautiful steps leading to the altar, gaily adorned with white flowers and green leaves. The grand hall is overwhelmed with silence. All eyes are staring at me, as I kneel down in front of the altar. Then, in my hushed voice which echoes around the silenced hall, I profess to obey, and to live a chaste and poor life for Christ my beloved Spouse. “May Lord help me to be honest for the profession forever.” Soon after, I stand up, and bring that piece of paper containing my profession of vows to the bishop for me to sign in front of him. But I cannot even write my name because my hand is shaking. I have to take a long breath to get rid of my agitation. Next, my mother superior and the bishop sign their names signifying their approval of my professed vows. Moments later, I step back to the altar, kneel and let the bishop sprinkle Holy Water onto my golden ring. My ordinary golden ring changes into an eternal bond between my God and me. My name is then called out by the bishop, so I approach him to receive the blessed ring. As my blessed ring is gently laid on my palm, a golden light glows from my ring and I see “Sponsa Christi” etched on its surface. I am now indeed a Bride of Christ, forever!