Historical setting: 589 C.E. The ruin of a mountain cottage
At this waking cold sunshine finds no roof over me. The deerskin is a warm blanket. Looking around the room there are walls and doors and even a window, just no other ceiling but the sky. There is a shelf near where the roof would be where the bird cage sits. It is surprisingly warm for a late winter’s day, and now I see that on the wall at my head is a grand hearthstone, blazing with a well-tended cooking fire.
Anatase in a simple flaxen dress and tattered surplice apron comes in a door near the fireplace and she tends the fire. She dips from the caldron into a tea pot. Her flow of golden hair surely belongs on a child I remember.
I close my eyes again to try to remember another day and put this all together. I had nearly found the child. The taller monk, and the shorter monk were on the seat of the donkey cart. But when we came up from the valley only the servant monk and the bird were there. The servant monk got down to walk the donkey up the climb back into the sunlight. I remember how I hoped …
She is right here, a woman now, her long fingers reach around my wrist for a thump of life. I choose to keep my eyes closed simply imagining the face of a weathered and weary woman with the familiar sparkling eyes and smile – the precocious child who already knew how to read but who pretended to let us teach her anyway.
“Good morning, Laz. I hear they call you Ezra now. I wish I could say my surgeon’s skills saved you, but of course, healing is a gracious gift of the Creator of life herself. I have a bowl of tea for you, if you can take a sip now.”
I can’t speak to answer. Dear God, thank you for this beautiful morning. Amen, So be it. Were this really true, I would lust for a forever of these mornings. But as dreaming, I dare not open my eyes for a waking.
“Ezra? Laz, look at me now. I have some tea for you. It would be good if you could take a sip.”
“It is good. Thank you, Ana…”
“It is just Ana, now. I’m called Ana.”
“Thank you Ana.” What more is there to say, but everything of all these years.
I offer, “Ana, I will build a roof for your house.”
She smiles, “Maybe another day.”
(Continues Tuesday, March 15)