Historical setting: 589 C.E. The Celtic Pagan village of Largin
We’ve arrived at the village where Thole worries while Tilp naps. Ana is waiting to examine Tilp, and in the meantime Thole is explaining her pregnancy to Ana.
“We are planning that winter would be a good time for this, near the solstice, because we weren’t sure how quickly you could get here. But now that you’re here we could do this anytime.”
“The baby will be born in God’s time Thole. You don’t get to decide when that will be.”
“Yes, but here we don’t have to worry about God’s time. We aren’t even Christian you know.”
“I have a question for you that you actually can answer. How long after the last Yule season did she first have morning sickness?”
“That was in February, by the Roman tally of months. But she didn’t start to get pregnant until well into spring. That’s when I went searching for you. When I returned she already had that terrible belly.”
“That belly is where your baby lives, Thole. It is the good order of the Creator, or Mother Nature, that the baby has room to grow.”
This chat is interrupted as Tilp, herself, waddles from the thatched house to the log circle. She seems a tiny mouse hauling away a huge oak gall. Her lame foot is less bent now, nearly flat on the ground with the extra weight of the baby she carries. Ana is delighted to see her.
“Tilp, from all the fears and worries I’ve been hearing I didn’t expect to see such a strong and healthy mother as you seem. I am Ana, who has come at Thole’s request to see you through this time.”
“Ana, I’ve heard you are the good fairy come to save me.”
“My task is to care for you. Your job now and forever is to keep the baby safe.”
“Come into our house with me. I have a secret I don’t want Thole to know.”
Now Thole and I are alone and Thole is frantic over this “secret” the women are sharing between themselves. I suggest we brush down the horses, and put them to pasture. It’s always good to answer worries with caring for the critters and the earth.
Dear God, thank you for the needs that keep us useful. Guide Ana to see them through this. Amen.