Historical setting: 584 C.E. The house of Eve
“First Page: ‘How I saved your bones for you to use again’.”
Little Anatase is reading the journal pages that Nic left with her so I would know things when I awoke all these years later.
“He wrote, ‘Brother Laz, it was a very bad start. You were a foot under a huge stone and those who sorrowed with me could only see it as a memorial to the dead. When I was finally able to retrieve the rem…n-a-n-t’”
“remnant” I intrude into the child’s reading. “You’re a good reader Anatase, but that’s a strange word.”
“Remnant?” she asks.
“It’s like a peach pit, the leftovers that could become a tree if planted.”
“Oh, I see. So he wrote, ‘When I was finally able to retrieve the [peach pit] there was so little left of you. I wrapped your [peach pit] in your cloak and put you in the cart. I was able to borrow a horse collar and reins, and it turns out your brown horse was willing to dress up for the work of towing. We would have made much faster time coming this far had we known the brown horse would pull the cart. But then you would have had to ride the ox.’” Here, now a burst of laughter from this young reader.
“The old monk was so funny.” She adds.
And together this child and I grieve for Nic’s simple humor. Such a strange mix of joys and sorrows is grief.
“’I left The Rose in Bordeaux. When I pulled away I think he was concerned I was leaving him for another.’ Who is this rose?”
“The Rose was the name of his horse.”
“Oh, he goes on. ‘At an easy trot it only took two days to get to Ligugé where I left the stone woman and I met the abbot. I told him I would return with the others when Brother Joel was able to travel. He was grateful for the gift of the mother and child and said Christian art is a popular addition at some of the new monasteries in these days but more often the images are even on both sides and dressed up in finer garb.’
“Is this interesting to you, or shall I skip some of these pages.”
“It’s best to read it all. But if you are tired of reading now, we can do this another time.”
“Thanks, I think I will play my flute for you.”
“That will be fine.”
(Continues Tuesday, May 18)