Historical setting: 589 C.E. Toward the Monastery of the Holy Cross
We ride in silence for some hours, I, on a familiar road, Ana, always in wonder of the new places. It’s been a few generations for me, and some deaths since I attuned myself to the patterns of woman. As the pure pale haze of a moon rises in the late day blue we near Poitiers, I suggest we stop before we arrive there.
“Ana, I need to know if I am being thoughtless of your needs.”
“What are you saying? Are you looking for an argument that we aren’t having? I just don’t need to talk all the time. Quiet is good.”
“No, no. I’m not being critical of all this quiet. I just don’t want to be ignorant of your needs and oblivious to something important.”
“Whatever are you talking about?”
“I’ve noticed you are not eating a morning meal these days, and now the gibbous moon is rising and we’ve barely stopped.”
She laughs. She laughs at me for asking. Then she looks away toward the moon in the daytime sky. Then she looks at me.
“Oh, so you suppose something. But you don’t know. One of the rules of all women is you can’t make a certain plan by phases of the moon. Early is one worry and late another.”
She puts another silence between us and changes her demeanor toward me.
“Laz, I really don’t know. You are right this is different. I don’t want to let myself hope. And were I pregnant just now what a messy plan it would make for us so far from home.”
“We will just take it as it comes, Ana. Whatever it is, long waiting or messy plan it will come to us and we will meet it with the help of God.” Dear God stay close, Amen.
We do need to have this moment to embrace before we come to the cloister without those thousand eyes living under the Rule for Virgins, watching us.
So this late afternoon we arrive at the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Poitiers where Ana hopes to be taken in as a guest. Here she can read any books about birthing babies that were ever written, and she can ask questions of midwives regarding possible options and hopes for Thole’s and Tilp’s baby.
This evening I plan to continue on to Ligugè to visit where I once lived as a monk.
(Continues Tuesday, September 6, 2022)