Maria, Mary, Miriam. Her name is a little different around the world, but she herself is the same. The Holy Mother, who gave birth to Jesus. I am working on a book about her, a novel, where I follow her from childhood till old age. I read what I can find. The Bible. The Apocrypha. Legends. Novels. And wherever I go, she is with me.
Not only in my heart and mind. Not only in the written words. But also on a tiny road somewhere in Ethiopia. On her way to the market, together with her beloved Joseph, with the gem of her heart Jesus and with her dear old donkey.
Sturdy Joseph, always to be trusted. Jesus with his mind elsewhere, the faithful donkey who never complains. Maria´s heart is light as she walks towards the market with her husband, her son and her dear animal friend. At the same time it is heavy. A deep sorrow she know is waiting for her, today, tomorrow, next year or in twenty hears. She can already feel tears pricking behind her eyes.
While walking, her thoughts wander to the night when the angel came. With the impossible message,
to the strength from Elisabeth´s embrace when they shared their secrets,
to the long, difficult flight to Egypt,
when the baby, the man and the donkey were her only weapons to fight insanity.
Maria had known all her life that joy and sorrow were to be her companions.
Joy and sorrow.
A refugee. A queen.
A mother. A wife. A woman.
She looked up and let her eyes rest on Joseph´s strong shoulders.
Love filled her, and with a smile she turned and met the eyes of her son.
two first one from a town somewhere in western Ethiopia
third from Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa
two last ones from St.Mary´s church in Lalibela