Historical setting: 589 C.E. Cottage in the Vosges
This brittle morning I find easy success in hunting a buck for our winter stews. It falls so near our cottage that I can dress it right here, and don’t have to coax the donkey to drag it on a sledge back to the house.
Colleen says Ana is required to stay in bed these weeks to make sure the baby is safe. She says she has a concern. I’m glad we have Colleen because Ana has no experience with this, and I might not have a concern when concern is most needed. In other times I’ve had a wife with less fortitude than Ana and the babies have been born safely. So why would I have a concern now? I know this bed thing is frustrating for Ana. Brother Servant will be bringing some wool, that was gifted to Annegray, so that Ana can twist it to yarns. She’ll be glad to have her hands busy with that.
Colleen is just finishing planting the herbs as best she can in the nearly frozen ground and now I see she’s going into the stable. Immediately she runs from the stable into the cottage flailing her arms, slamming the door as though something had frightened her.
I don’t have to wonder what she saw there. Now a monk is coming out of the stable brushing hay from his robe, looking around with apprehension for someone watching but he doesn’t notice me way out here in the pasture. He walks off toward the monastery path, and stops just near the brink of the hill, as another monk comes out of the stable. He also glances around then slinks along with way more caution than would be needed if Colleen had just caught them in solemn prayer. He meets the first monk and they go off hand-in-hand down the hill.
It’s obvious that in our absence this stable served to hide a tryst or maybe more. That explains the abundance of clean, soft straw in the stable loft, when everything else from the field and the garden was just dumped in the house for storage.
Now we are home and have plenty. Thank you God, for all this goodness, and for this deer, for his good life in the beauty of nature and a good death of a deer that feeds our need just now. Guide me now, that in all this plenty I not loose sight of the sanctity of life. Amen.
(Continues Thursday, December 1, 2022)