The old woman…

grey wooden cross on mountain

The old woman… 

sensed his somber mood as she awoke to do her morning chores, preparing bread and gathering provisions for her husband’s journey. This day arrived without a hint of the years and trials each had endured, though each bore the facial, creviced, leathered flesh revealing those survivals. Their long union loved well in silent, unspoken gestures. Words were not necessary between them, only an economy for reassurance. So, she wasted not the morning with small talk.  

A serious man who tolerated no delay, not prone to anger or outbursts and terse enough to make his point, his mood conveyed an undercurrent she could not fully understand. Knowing his readiness to get on with the trip ahead, she scurried about. But—she wondered. 

As she made provision, she comforted her unease with remembrances of similar times and how providence appeared at each crossroad. Uncanniness described their good fortune. Then again, there was always the voice the old man heard and his dreams the voice filled. She could not explain it. She, herself, had never heard it, but she knew of the voice because he did not dream in silence. Each time the dream came, and the voice spoke, the old man, imbued with conviction, found favor. 

Husband, where are you? He answered, “Here I am.” “I have made you ready for the trip. You and the boy will be well fed,” she said. 

He packed the provisions alongside the wood he had splintered for fire, and he bound a faggot needed to start a fire to his jack. Repeating his routine by rote, the centenaire knew last to sharpen his knife and sheath it firmly, all in rhythm as the boy, his only son, watched. Weaned into a young man, this time the curious lad joined his father. 

The old woman watched, too, hiding her concern from them and wished them Godspeed. 

So, the old man and the boy began a three-day journey. The old man’s somberness deepened into foreboding. Not wanting to convey fear to his son, he trudged on with a sense of great purpose, telling the young lad about his dreams and the voice inside those dreams. 

He told his son the voice guided him through difficult times, had gifted him with all he possessed. Now is the time to pay homage to the voice, to go to a place on the mountain and offer unto the voice only what I wish to withhold.  

And when they came to the place of which the voice had spoken, the old man untied the faggot, laid it on the ground, and placed the wood on top and readied the boy for the fire. Before the boy would utter a sound, his father unsheathed the knife, drew its edge across his hand, steadied his grip pressure, and raised it. 

 Suddenly, the voice of the Angel called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” 

“Here I am,” said Abraham. 

And now a life is foretold. 

Sarah, did you know? 

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