background: Terce is the name of the mid-morning hour of prayer in the Benedictine tradition. Terce is the little hour between the start of work and noon break when some of the edge of prime has worn down, when we feel the need for reinforcement, for recalibration. The monastics called down the Holy Spirit for reviving at this time, realizing that attitudes fostered at this hour often determine the difference between a day, or a life, fueled with passionate energy or anxious denial.
Story: When the father of her baby—Prime—abandons her and their newborn for opportunities across the country, Terce has rent to pay while she faces the reality of her new circumstances as a mother on her own. A series of women, muses, offer their help but Terce constantly repeats her refrain that she is “fine” by herself. A benevolent older woman offers to solve her rent shortage by offering a job she tries to do without help. Traveling Man tries to help her see the legacy of help that she ignores while his visit reveals his own judgmental attitudes that left her without help all along. When the defenses of her pride and denial are broken down, and she receives the grace of neighborly support, the possibility of a generous and hopeful life opens.