43.9, Thurs., April 20, 2023

Historical setting: 602 C.E. Home in the Vosges Mts.

This morning the pilgrims are going out from Luxovium in all directions returning to their homes. When we stand here on the brink of our hill we see people walking along the creek path below where the path will meet the River Moselle.

Ana released a bird with the message saying that our sons and I will carry the letter to the council of bishops, though she said it with few enough little words to fit the leg of the bird. Only a short time now the bird we took to Luxeuil in the traveling box returns with a message to us.

“Be here and ready tomorrow.”

There is still no hint as to where we will be going, how long we will be gone, or how many will be in this envoy. We still have questions. But, just this meager order to show up kicks the imaginations of Gabe and Greg from dreams to possibility and maybe even to reality. These near teens aren’t even satisfied with a simple display of privilege over their siblings; they feel an urgent need to go and to tell Charlie of their new status on becoming horsemen, and maybe even swordsmen if the baro and dux need soldiers for this mission.

Ana reminds me this obnoxious display is how they are able to rally new courage in the face of their own likely fear and trepidation. They simply need to grow into a new perception of themselves. She doesn’t require me to remember my own life stage when I was nearly a teen. She just tells me how it is to see the world through very young eyes, and of course, I know she is wise.

There is no guessing what our travel needs will be, so I recommend we pack as little as we possibly can – maybe just a fleece and cloak for sleeping. We each roll a pack and tie them with some good twists of rope. Ana packs some cheeses for us, and dried plums, some small barely loaves and a blade and a fishhook. She sends a needle and a thread of silk, some linen strips to be bandages if needed, and of course, her choice of always-helpful herbs. The only things I will long for are Ana and the children with whom we share these long good-byes.

(Continues Tuesday, April 25, 2023)

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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