Historical setting: 584 C.E. The walking path in Eve’s garden
Eve is telling me of negotiations Daniel had with the druid when arranging to bring this very young child here as Eve’s apprentice.
She explains, “When Daniel was last trading with the cooper the druid appeared and inquired about the progress of Anatase. Daniel and Ezra think the pagans plan to take her back very soon to work as a healer, or worse the pagan tribe may have something more terrifying in mind for her. Whatever, Daniel made a promise to return her to them when she is fully trained as a practitioner in the arts of healing.”
“I‘ve got an idea for biding for time here. Since you will decide the measure of her education just leave an important part for her to learn when you determine she is ‘old enough’.”
“She already knows the remedies and recognizes herbs and potions; she understands so much. What else could there be? Oh wait, now that I think of it there is something held back. I’ve hardly mentioned the rituals of pagan healing– the chants and spells. My pagan teacher thought chants were important but I use the Christian prayer in that place. I haven’t used a pagan chant, or even mentioned it to her for fear it would put her into the tangled briars with Christians one day.”
“So if you hold that back from her until you determine she is of age, you can truthfully tell them she needs to stay longer. If they test her on pagan magic that will only prove true.”
“Yes, of course that’s it. Learning the chants could take forever. And maybe I won’t even start that too soon. This is a fine idea.”
That solved, thank you God.
“Eve, I have another concern. I’m thinking maybe Nic wrote things Anatase should skip over.”
“You think your friend Nic revealed secrets from Anatase in the pages?”
“I wasn’t so much thinking of secrets, more of sorrows that a cheerful child needn’t read.”
“You know well, Papa, keeping sorrows up above the view of children steals from them the chance to have an adult guide their way through troubles.”
“I guess you may have a good sense for teaching the hard lessons of grief, don’t you, Eve.”
“I was once left a grieving orphan, Papa. I was the apprentice to the old hag of healing so I was privy to many sorrows after that. Grief comes hinged to love; we needn’t pretend it is only for adults.”
[Art footnote] The ladybug…”had the three colors of the primordial goddess Holle. It is to her womb, her cauldron, that the spirits of disease, the incarnated spirits in general, return when they leave the world… And just like the stork, ladybugs – also called beetles of Mary, Ladybirds, sun child, Mary’s chafer, and so on can also bring the children’s souls into the world. [This is] an old Swiss nursery rhyme.” Storl, Wolf D. The Untold History of Healing: Plant lore and medicinal magic from the stone age to present, 2017, Berkely, California, North Atlantic Books. Page 158.