Historical Setting, 562 C.E. Gaul
On this new day I set my sight on Tours or as the Romans used to call this area Civitas Turonorum about a day’s walk east of these vineyards of Ezra.
Dear God, guide me into this new. Amen.
The last time I traveled this road in this direction was twenty years ago when I was near death and desperate to find help for my children amid the withering plague. That day is burned onto my memory in random scattered pieces. But those mere fragments still rage and rave when I dredge them to consciousness from the froths of flaming fears. I fell into the coolness in the clay of these deep ruts beside this road. Powerful hands with unimaginable empathy turned me to gaze skyward speaking gentle words of one innocent of plague’s ravages, ready to help me rather than run. I gathered strands of thought-to-word to be exact about the place I left my children. I begged him to leave me and save them. He had a beast and a cart. He could make good time to arrive for them. I prayed it loud. I said it. I shouted it! I don’t know if I made sense of it, but Ezra and Eve were discovered to have lived through it all anyway.
I woke in a night lost from calendar time in the plague pit with the death stench. I was frail – a dry nub with no words. The healing of that was long and slow. I lived into that healing as an ascetic in the old caves near here across the river.
The ruts are hardened this day with the dry freeze of winter so this road is an unsteady walk.
Some miles along here is this low thatched house where a nanny goat and her kid are chained as a new wall is being stacked higher than a goat’s climb. The chained critter locks eyes with me in her remembrance of freedom as I stare back for a moment in my knowing also. Yes, I think I am aware of what house this is, so I can guess who is working there behind this wall to make a place for this nanny and her kid.
I choose to continue on the road and set aside my encounter with this so-called “evil” Jesse for another day.