#39.4, Thurs., Dec. 8, 2022

Historical setting: 589 C.E. a cottage between Annegray and Luxeuil

         Colleen asked. So I bring out the little cradle I’ve been carving to make a gift for Ana and the baby; but now Colleen flatly rejects it. She says it will never serve under the circumstances. I needed to carve it from a much longer log. I choose not argue so I simply ignore her criticism. I know very well this is a fine cradle. This is something I’ve done before in all my years, but sometimes, I know silencing my own pride to protect tranquility is a worthy choice.

         Colleen, the trained and experienced midwife, thinks that Ana’s very large size is an unusual “circumstance” which causes Ana to have to stay in bed until the baby is born.  Accommodating this concern of Colleen’s has been troublesome but, Ana is trusting in Colleen’s advice, so I will also.  But does Colleen possibly think this baby will be twice the size of a normal baby? Why would a baby need a four-foot long cradle? Are we expecting a Goliath, or is Colleen just giving me a hard time? And why is it the buntings they are knotting are for a normal sized baby? 

         Oh, just a thought.  I might know of a so-called, “circumstance,” they haven’t yet said aloud. But it would be a very good thing if two babies are delivered safely. Just now I’m so grateful we have Colleen with us for this birth that may become more complicated.

         I drag the longer end of that ash log into the stable and ask Colleen if I should carve a place for a baby at each end of the log.

         Stoic Colleen nearly smiles and answers “Make sure it won’t roll over.”

         The snowstorm hardly subsides when the bird returns with a thin strand of parchment on its leg. The message is simply a line showing the creek below us, widening to a particular place where I expect they want the mules delivered. 

         The storm left a wake of winter so I have to put the cradle project aside and cut an abundance of firewood. The hearth fire has to be tended night and day; and Colleen and I have decided to open a smoke hole in the roof of Ana’s room for second hearth. The donkey and I dragged a large stone from the ruin for that.

         I’m leaving so much for Colleen to do while I’m gone. But I hope to return soon.

(Continues Tuesday, December 13)

Published by J.K. Marlin

Retired church playwright learning new art forms-- fiction writing, in historical context and now blogging these stories. The Lazarus Pages have a recurring character -- best friend of Jesus -- repeatedly waking to life in various periods of church history and spirituality.

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