#40.12, Thurs., Jan. 26, 2023

Historical setting: 590 C.E. Cottage between Annegray and Luxeuil

         “So what happened? Why did it take you a whole day to walk the horses back to Annegray?” Ana asked. But Colleen apparently didn’t want to hear excuses and my “sorrys” so she took her cheese and biscuit and went back into the main room to eat alone.

         I think Ana is waiting for some amazing adventure story – maybe I was battling wolves and bears, or I had to free myself from robbers, or I was sinking in a bog until a bevy of angels swooped down to draw me up. These would all be good stories to explain my tardiness. And the bog and the angels could have been an honest allegory.  But I know if I tell her about the church and the statues and Mater Doe that wouldn’t be a bond for Ana’s broken heart. It is true that we could visit that church sometime. Possibly when the monks are gone and we are taking a toddler walking we can go into that wooded place and find the tranquility of forever. And Ana will find it holy as I do.

         My best explanation, “I was distracted from my walk back when I saw that church on the hillside above Annegray. I left the path and went there though it was a little longer walk than I’d guessed. I must have already let go of my sense of time and obligation.” 

         “How could you possibly loose your sense of time?!  Time is everything.  I’m just sitting here through yarn skeins of time.  Every little moment and second is waiting time –waiting to meet these babies face-to-face and see that they are healthy. Time names chores, the milking and the planting. Time is already too slow and then you go off and loose your sense of it!”

         Colleen pulled the door more tightly closed.

         Ana rails on, “Time is all that fastens us to earth and now you say you lost your sense of time?”

         “I’m so sorry Ana.  What can I say? There was a solitude there — a peacefulness that didn’t have demands.”

         “You do solitude all the time and you never loose your sense of time.  You chant with monks! What could be more timeless than that!  And yet you come home.”

         “Monks keep hours with chants and prayer.” 

         This moment of silence tells me she is not asking for a rational explanation of monastic scheduling.

         “What can I say Ana, but I’m sorry.”        

(Continues Tuesday, January 31)

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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