Historical setting: At the family graveyard — 584 C.E.
At this waking fresh light floods all around as Ezra and a younger man are at work taking down the low arch of reeds that is this sepulcher. This younger man must be my grandson Daniel. Here he is grown to be the powerful young man who can help his father with this vineyard when I was not here to help when it was needed.
Thank you God, for generations that come to keep the cares.
Ezra is speaking. “Now Papa, without the structure we can better see to cut you loose from the rags.
“Colleta has already stitched a tunic for you. It is of bleached linen she was saving for something blessed and holy. You will surely look like an angel when we get you all dressed in it. That was what she wanted for you.”
If I could answer I wouldn’t know what to say. But apparently, I have the gift today of showing expression with my face.
“He looks to wonder at that, Papa.” Daniel says.
Ezra assumes, “Maybe it is a pained look and we are hurting him removing the linens. Are you alright, Papa?”
I can smile today. Each of my pale and frail limbs lie uselessly in place in the form of a man longing for the fullness of life, and what is here on this hill is a cold breeze. Now I see I was carefully brought here to this place near Susanna. This is where I would leave flowers for her. I hope I’m not too late to thank Nic as this kindness was surely his doing.
Thankfully the white tunic doesn’t suit me. They came back with a quilt for a wrap and the wagon. Now it is Daniel who carries this broken man that I am into Eve’s house after a very short wagon ride.
Thank you God, for keeping this family.
I’m spread onto a bed. I believe this is the very bed-stand and side room I built here for Eve to use when she takes in patients. She was a healer even as a young woman. In those years after the plague I was left in the plague pit outside of Tours. Eve and Ezra, who survived were ill and sent to the pagan hag of healing near Tours. When they were well Ezra was taken to learn the work of tending grapes, and Eve learned midwifery and the art of the healing. The old woman left Eve an ancient book of pagan remedies, and the scars of pox that had taken her life.