He came to me like a fire, like a flame of lighting from the sky. He was an angel. Blinding. I had to cover my eyes for he was like looking into the sun.
I had been chilled by the morning frost. Before the sun arose, I had taken the sheep up to the top of the hill for them to graze. It was mens’ work but my brother and father had been called to arms to fight against the English armies, so my mother sent me to do the shepherding. They have often said, I am a simple girl. My mother fears I will never marry, that I am not worth marrying. I rarely speak or communicate in any form. I can think, but there is little use for my voice, my tongue is too simple. My father had felt that my lack of speaking could be helpful in marrying me off. He had said that women talked far too much as it was. I had smiled at him when he said this. I believed he was right. I had believed that women were meant to bear children, and to provide a home for the man, and not to speak, as it is written in the bible. I could not understand why the Lord gave women tongues in the first place. But the Lord, he is mysterious and he does not always remain true to the words of the bible, so perhaps he had a future planned for the tongue of the woman. I believed that plan would be far after my death, and after I had lain my head at God’s golden feet, for now I would learn the ways of a good wife, in case there were to be a husband for me. I had known to cook and to clean, and I knew until a marriage was set I was to remain away from men, aside from my brother and father. This did not bother me, for it gave me more time to be with God. I longed to be closer to God. I honored my father, but I had hope that I would never marry and therefore I could give my life over to our lord in heaven, my head covered in cloth, but the lord he is mysterious and has other plans.
I did not mind the mens’ work. I enjoyed the solitude and the cool air. I enjoyed the mews and haws of the sheep as they pressed their fat wool coats against me as they munched and plodded up toward the top of the hill. My bare feet crunched the frozen grass with vibrating snaps that one could only feel if they walked very purposely. In the cold morning air my fingers had turned red, and I had tightened my shawl about my arms for warmth. It was thin and worn with time and age allowing the chill to kiss my skin, but I was grateful, for it was God’s morning, telling me I was alive, and I was to look around at his beauty and to thank the crystals of frost at my feet. And thank him I did, daily, nightly, till he sent me him. An Angel, Gabriel, he had a message.