Historical setting: 589 C.E. a cottage between Annegray and Luxeuil
I prefer the scent of Ana’s room and the comfortable smell of wool with all her spinning on-and-on. The bags of combed and washed wools, donated to the monastery were delivered to Ana for spinning and now, she has wound all the yarns into skeins. The threads are probably not as tight as experienced hands would do.
A bow of the dark colored thread tied to the leg of a bird lets Brother Servant know Ana has sorted the dark yarns from the white. She is ready to return the dark wools to the monks to be woven for fabric for monk’s robes. Maybe Brother Servant will bring more bags of wool for Ana’s busy fingers when he comes to get this yarn.
Besides the carving of the very long cradle, there are lots of little tasks. Logs heaped for burning are sorted from the logs set aside for me to cut and carve and plane into the things Colleen thinks we need now as owners of a cow. She especially says she needs an oaken slat bucket and a churn. She found the rope bits I twisted up last summer while I was sorting thatch for the roof. Her plan is that I will plane oak slats with edges perfectly angled to fit together with a wrap of rope to make a solid bucket for milking. I can only promise lots of leaks. I’m not a cooper and I’m not using iron banding. She’s been stirring cream to butter in a bowl but she would prefer a churn, even a leaky one.
It’s easy to go numb to the sour smells of creams and curds for Colleen’s various milk projects. I gather pine bows and fragrant woods for the fire so Brother Servant will have a less odorous visit when he arrives. I’m anxious to hear the news of Annegray and especially to learn when Father Columbanus plans to move.
Brother Servant arrives with two other Irish monks. He said he needed help to carry the bags of wool, but they also brought a skin of wine and an empty bowl. I think Colleen expected the bowl was a gift. She needs more bowls for all her little projects with the extra milk. But really, they expect to take some cheese back with them when they return. It feels magical, like feast days now, either Christmas or Solstice.
Thank you God, for friends and food, for gifting and sharing. Amen.