Historical setting: 602 C.E. Home in the Vosges Mts.
“So you felt tricked.” Ana has more clarity of thought than I. We both know our children well. “Laz, Greg and Gabe are literate, brilliant in fact, and we both know the burden the world will place on them all too soon, demanding their many gifts. In another year or two they will be as tall as men, and no one but us will see them as children though they will be teens — crazy with courage — and caring deeply about perceptions of themselves as seen from the viewpoints of others well beyond our walls. We can’t control them, always.”
“I know what you are saying, Ana. You think our little hatchlings will learn to fly even though we want to keep them in the nest.”
Ana knows, “And you know perfectly well, you can’t teach them the world by telling them of the dangers of lurking duxes and baros. They will surely go off to learn all about guardsmen and swords and horses and warring for themselves. The more you tell them not to go, the more they will know they must.
“So I will send off a bird in the morning with a message and tell them you will carry that message and our sons will be the envoy.”
“But Ana, what about you, and the babies, and the farm?”
“Simon is quite able to manage the farm these days. He is fully ten-years-old, and will still accept my relentless guidance.”
“But Ana, in so many ways Greg and Gabe are still innocent children.” I plead for naught, wishing it were so. “Maybe they can learn responsibility by staying at home?”
“So don’t you want to be the one to see them into their adulthood? Or would you rather they just go off against your will as thwarted but precocious children will do?”
“Yes, you are right, Ana, but …”
“So where is it you are going? How long might you be away?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t ask.”
“So you have no idea where you are going? I will worry for them and pray for you…”
“Yes, Ana, I know you are right about this. I just need to consider it.”
The softness of this night can make everything seem right. Thank you God. It is much too rare in these times to have this quiet night in the scents and softness with Ana. I’d still rather not be gone.