Historical setting: 588 C.E. Jesse’s Farm
It’s an early rising for chores long before the night is broken. Thole and I milk the goats and fill the oats in the horse’s trough as silently as we can not to waken Jesse and whomever else he has in his bed after yesterday’s feasting. We draw buckets from the well to fill the hollows in the watering stones. Now that Jesse has chickens two hen’s eggs are found in the straw so we put them on the board next to the bowl of fresh goat’s milk and they will know the chores are done. Thole chooses to leave without speaking his hurt to his father.
Just before the gates of Tours is the ferry landing and Thole reminds the ferrymen that three days ago he was crossing with a horse and the ferry tipped, so he didn’t get the boat ride already paid, and now we should cross the river without paying. Oddly it is agreed.
It’s late in the morning by the time we’re on the north side of the river. Three day old tracks left by eight horses are easy to follow along the riverbank and into the woods. I can guess where we are going but why we are going is a mystery to me.
“Thole, do you have a reason or a plan?”
“I just want to be near the spirit of Auntie Eve. I’m looking for the druid to ask if we can join up. I should think they need more strong young men, don’t you suppose?”
“Yes, I would suppose so, since their tribe is older people and most are women. But why would you want this?”
“Okay, Ezra, you don’t have to come! You can just go back to the greed and garish selfishness! I can do this by myself.”
“I’m not arguing. I’m just wondering.”
“I want to belong where the people still know the spirit of Auntie Eve. They haven’t forgotten her. I thought you would want to be close to her too.”
Dear God, when you are counting every hair of every head of Creation – caring for humankinds and all of the beasts too — surely the lines people draw separating our varieties of worship might not be important to you. Let me not keep these walls in my own heart, separating tribe from church. Give me eyes to see wider. Amen.