It is quiet about the campfire,
couples huddled close – no strangers here.
The frenetic dancing done,
communal dishes relished – gone;
wine changing to a drifting brandy flask.
“tell us a story, papa” whispered command.
I ponder on the quiet …
Easter past and Lenten lessens
easily forgotten. I reflect on Jeshua’s
quit times also – those missing 20 years,
now subject of pulp fiction.
a story then,
"Mother, do you have a scrap of cloth that I can use as a bandage wrap?"
"Let me see -- oh, a rather nasty scrape! But see there -- some bits of grass and sand. Go and wash well in the stream and I will prepare. I still have some salve that Aunt Martha sent. She had it blessed. Go quickly. ---- No, do not run! The neighbor's animals need not be disturbed because of your clumsiness. Walking the path deliberately and carefully will bring you back directly. Please your mother, now!"
"That was truly pleasant. I washed downstream from the others, too. And there I found some newly budding flowers of a type I have not known. I will return in summer and gather some for your table. I wondered why you did not have me cleans the wound here, with water from the well. But you are wise, as always, dearest mistress."
"You, safely at my table, Jeshua, is all I desire. What was it this time? Rescuing a bird or swinging from a tree with those shepherd boys?
"I was helping young Timothy into that tall tree by the southern gate to climb with the older boys. It proved more difficult than I supposed. "Anyway, he was not injured."
"He is the one with only one foot from the cart accident last fall?"
"Yes, but he is strong and is learning to laugh again! He must exercise his pain."
"That too is why I sent you to the stream. You must take care that the scab does not stiffen and become inflexible. You will need your knee when we go to prayer."
"Inflexible? You mean like Rabbi Elam -- with teachings like stone. My Father is vibrantly alive, and we can pray as well seated here on Joseph's bench as in the synagogue."
"None the less, we will go -- to be with the others and support them in their prayers, if nothing else. Often the gift of companionship is the greatest sacrifice of all."
"Yes, Mother. -- Are there any dates left?"
"You can wait! We will dine before the reddening hours as Joseph needs your help to deliver the new table to the Roman home on the hill."
"Last time they gave me a pomegranate. I will bring it to you. It is like a little world inside, so much work just to get a simple prize."
"You make me laugh my son, and it cheers the hidden corners of my heart. But I have been musing here. Now, our magnificent Father above lifts the tiny wren into the wind and gives it shelter under a leaf in a storm. Why then did you fall?"
"Dearest Mother, if I had called up to Father to have Timothy float gently to the ground, he would not learn, but would try to climb again. When I caught and broke his fall as a friend, and gained this scrape by reward, I became a better man and so did he.
Look, the sun has touched the hill."