Historical setting: 589 C.E. In the Vosges Mountains
“Brother Servant I know the rule of Ana is to not even know of her, so I will say nothing at all of her, but I will silently follow you on the path, and when we reach the creek I will stop and cut thatch while you go on ahead. She won’t even know I’m there.”
“Somehow, Ezra, I can clearly see you are inching ever closer to breaking the rule. And what if she doesn’t want birds living there?”
“Then I will just repair nesting boxes here or if she changes her mind, then maybe there — wherever they are needed. I’ll gather the supplies at the creek.”
Brother Servant notices, “Inching ever closer… But I figure, since all your construction skills are human, and you don’t seem to have the gifts known by birds with beaks for weaving grasses I will have to supply you with a saw and a blade. You may walk with me as far as the creek. Then I will continue on up while you go about gathering brush and sticks.”
He’s right. I guess I’m inching my way ever closer to breaking the rule. But in fact, I’m really not bound by any rule here and I could just go up there as I please, but then Ana might feel I’m forcing myself onto her and she wouldn’t want me there, even if all I did was build a roof for her house. And by breaking the rule they have here I would not only close myself from her, I wouldn’t have this place to return to. Cages and rules constrict both bird and man but they may serve a worthy purpose.
Dear God, let me find the limits to my own freedoms in the many ways of love. Amen.
We set out on this new morning, I with a saw and a blade, and brother servant with a bird in a cage.
Now here on the banks of the creek as Brother Servant walks on I find all the materials anyone would need for cages and roofs, broom hedge for thatching and pine poles and hazel branches for building. He’s gone on ahead up the hill with the bird in the cage. The sun is rising higher, and already I’ve pruned a new hole in the brush for sunshine to pour through, and it makes blue sparkles of sky on the water, once dark. I have a heap of thatching cut here already.
Now I hear someone romping through the thickets on the path.