Historical setting: 564 C.E. The Gaul Side of the Pyrenees
I’m anxious to let Nic know of my recent clarity of memory. It’s all come back to me now, not as grief but as hope. I have a breathing reality in knowing where I will find my children and grandchildren. I suggest Nic and I ride on into Bordeaux and look for an inn where we can safely take Brother Joel and wait out the healing into spring. The ride will give us time for me to talk with Nic.
So we are riding north. The horses’ easy gait makes a brief jaunt of this, but it is time enough to tell Nic of the revelation of memory.
“There was a reminder when I asked in Bordeaux and I was told there was no surgeon. There was a known healer who owned an ancient book of remedies. Then it came to me — an ancient book of remedies. It was held in the hand of my daughter, Eve. She was pretending it was filled with Pagan stories, really from her own imagination intended to entertain my grandchildren, Daniel and Celeste, and the baby Margey who was asleep in Eve’s arms. They are my son Ezra’s children. Eve was caring for them while Ezra and his wife, Colleta, were away in Tours.
“Now all the webs of forgotten life are unwound and strung together as my true memories of this family. They live on the River Liger, or in these times called Loire.”
Nic interrupts. “That’s where we found you, beaten and left for dead. Do you mean that road was so near your home?”
“My wife, Susanna is buried on the hill near that bend in the river, and my son has the vineyard there.”
“There is a known healer right near that place. We would have taken you to her instead of to Nantes, but we were hurried along by the rotting condition of our ship, and by the fact that we thought you a Christian because you wore a monk’s tonsure and she is known to be Pagan.”
“Maybe she is Pagan. It’s how she’s thought of. My son and his family are Christian. Eve and Ezra were orphaned in the first wave of the Justinian plague delivered to us in 543 by the Roman soldiers who traveled on the river.”
“Yes.” Nic adds his comprehension, “I joined the Roman Navy to fill the gap left by that first round of the plague. What else do you remember of that?”
(Continues Tuesday, March 2, 2021)