Historical setting: 589 C.E. The cottage in the mountains
Close to the heart in these mountains deep in its valleys, the Black Forest cradles an eternity of ancient lore. Turned as yarn on the spindles of storytellers are romantic legends of fairies and princes, commoners always reaching justice after cruelty, always turning things upside down as was Mary’s song sung again in the Gospel of Luke. [Luke 1:46-56] But with the bad news I bring, it seems for Ana what had become a dream of a happily-ever-after is just more ashes to sweep from the hearth.
I try to understand. “So you have to stay all alone out here in the wilderness in a house with only a half a roof, on account of the possible indiscretions of young monks?”
“You make it sound restrictive. I’m grateful for the safety of this circumstance.”
“Really? But here you suffer the consequences for other people’s sins.”
“Did your buddy Jesus tell you life is fair?”
“No. Of course not.”
“Maybe it was the old monk, or maybe it was you, yourself who taught me the Jesus answer. The only way to get perfect justice is to become the one who feeds the hungry and clothes the naked and cares for the sick and imprisoned, and never even try to find the equal measure of it all. Here I am much happier setting my sights on serving others and not worrying over my own allotment.” [Matthew 25:21-46]
This angel of Annegray has a few things collected and ready to send on to those monks: wild seeds of forest herbs for spring gardens, roots and mushrooms to give delicacy to common porridge, and a page of writing, rolled up packed in with all these little finds of nature. She prepares whatever she can to remind monks they are the warp woven into the beautiful Creation with the weft of Holy Love.
“So it’s not a rumor. You actually are the attending angel here in this wilderness.”
Thank you God for this window on devils and angels.
The servant monk comes on foot with a bag of things for Ana, and he puts the things she’s sending to Annegray into his bag. He takes the empty bird box down and replaces it with the bird he’s brought with him. He asks her something in a whisper she freely answers aloud.
“Don’t worry about Ezra. I’m not afraid of him, even though, as you noticed, he is quickly healing and becoming quite strong and healthy. Maybe he can help me with the scribing assignment.”