Historical setting: 589 C.E. In the Vosges Mountains
Brother Servant took my request to the father for Ana to have birds.
He tells me, “The father wants to know if Ana would like birds so I will have to ask her.”
I need to find a distraction while I wait. I offer, “In my youth I apprenticed with a carpenter. Possibly I could make new nesting boxes here?”
“Really Ezra, we have higher priorities for repairs.”
I can’t think of anything else just now. “Maybe I could repair this dilapidated aviary here. Apparently the only thing that keeps the pigeons here is their domestication. I ask. “With only a few tools, a saw and a blade, I can easily build a new aviary. I’ll use the scrub along the creek – the broom and willow, hazel wood and pine — and the birds will have fine nests of thatch and sticks and it won’t take the supplies we need for the important repairs.”
Brother Servant isn’t impressed. “Birds already do that task quite well and they never borrow a saw or a blade from us. Ezra I know you are making plans to take birds to Ana. That seems to be all you think about. Just give me a chance to go and ask her.”
“Yes, of course. But maybe if you have some chores I could help with, you could go up there sooner?”
“Alright, you may walk with me to the creek and start gathering these supplies while I go ahead and ask her.”
“Oh thank you!”
Maybe I could make a note of the joy I feel just now. It would fit on a bird’s leg and it would have a tune she could play on her flute, “Praise God!”
Here in the midst of these chanting brothers only verses of moaning laments lap gently one onto the next like wavelets turning over on an evening shore. They are a whole dark sea, and here I am a loud splash joy just waiting to be shouted. Thank you God!
“Thank you Brother! I really think birds could give Ana a chance to know she is beloved without her having to navigate the treachery of men’s lust.”
“You’ve thought of that, have you?”
“She told me she has fears.”
“Please don’t forget, Ezra, here we may only speak of an unnamed angel of the wilderness. It is our sacred duty to forget whatever lustful thoughts we may have.”