Historical setting: 588 C.E. leaving Ligugè
We leave after morning matins. The rising golden sun, the alleluias of our lauds, even the early songs of the birds rising from the trees for their autumn pilgrimage – it all seems out of place in my own grieving.
Riding at an easy gait the young man Thole is a length ahead of me.
Dear God, thank you for the crispy dawning. Please stay close. Let tragedy not be impetus for vengeance, but in your way, rescue us to love. Help me through my hurt and rage. Amen.
Eve is wrapped in a linen sheet. A grave was dug in that same place next to Eve’s and Ezra’s mother where Nic once laid my bones. I draw back the cloth from her face. My chin quivers. She is ashen and as always scarred with pox and hollows of hurts. The slash of a sword on her neck is the single blow of death I see. My tears drop onto her face as I kiss her forehead and pull the linen to cover her forever and after. Ezra’s hand is on my shoulder as he too weeps. She is laid in the grave, and the pages I scribed that Anatase enhanced with herbs are laid onto her. I add as many handfuls of rosemary as I can gather after the Christian practice.
There are no pagan gifts given here to take her to their other world. She will have to die a Christian as she was born. Dear God, please take Eve’s spirit into the ever flowing river of your love — stay close. And thank you for the gift of her. Amen.
Everyone has a grief in this. The strongest men of us, Thole, Ezra and Daniel, and I too weep silently. Colleta brings the loud wailing of Christian muddle of sin and guilt. And here is Thole’s father, Jesse, cousin to Colleta, wracked with the passions of his second love lost. Thole said his father never stopped pleading with Eve for marriage, and she never relented in proclaiming against it. Now he is shouting his woes into a loud and raging rally for vengeance. Count Bertigan and Celeste are standing further back with their children, good mannered, watching. And there are others here as well. Maybe they are the new tenants on this land, or people who have come to Eve for healing, or maybe so many are here simply drawn by the rumors of a violent death.
Some mourners scatter to their homes. I stay here to wander the ashes with my plea to God for closeness.
(Continues Tuesday, October 26, 2021)