Historical setting: 562 C.E. Gaul
Now I set out on my walk as George returns to his cell in the monastery to await his horsemen with their weapons. He tells me when I see him next he will be Gregory, Bishop of Tours. Gregory will be his new priestly name and his aspiration is to be bishop here one day. Bishop Eufronius is already aged.
I answer. “And you, my friend, may find me at the vineyard of Ezra on the Loire if I am not in the scriptorium of the monastery.”
The shrine and the basilica are nearly the western edge of the civitas, so my journey west from Tours is less than when I came.
I pass the old untended farms and vineyards abundant on the north side of the road toward the river and they are overgrown with vines and small dells of saplings now tinged in greens and yellows of the new season blossoming out. Perhaps we will never see again the great forests of Gaul but the springtime enlivens even the scrub.
I see ahead of me, on the side of the road near one of these small woods that same woman again, still having found no help or healing, still lying on her pallet. Here she is alone yet never smiling. I expect her sons have gone back through the wood to find the river crossing that was once near this place now hidden in the thickets.
Now I see they are here, and they have with them heavy limbs of fallen trees held firmly as though they were axes for warriors…
“Stop! My friends! Why do you hit me? I’m no danger! Why are you afraid of me? I mean you no harm. Have you a need…”
My arms ache from sheltering my head from the blows, and my head…
(Continued Wednesday, April Fools, April 1, 2020)