The figure sat up. The outline of his head and powerful shoulders remained in the soft soil. Some still clung to his rippling back.
His skin could have been a deep bronze, but the shifting glow hid most of the color as flowed over and through his body with a light that rivaled the sun above.
As a light breeze whispered through the branches overhead and tousled his rich black hair and beard, the shifting green shadows added to the shimmer.
The red sun sank toward the dusty hills behind her right shoulder.
A chilling wind tugged at the dark curls escaping from her scarf. She shivered and pulled the wool cloak tighter around her shoulders.
Her ankles throbbed. Her back ached. She couldn’t get enough breath, and a little squeeze at the back of her throat threatened to become tears of misery.
But not tonight.
Tonight Beit Lechem would be lit by a hundred lamps to honor the miracle of dedication.
Families would exchange gifts of fruit and twist breads, like the kind she watched her grandmother make when she was a child.
She would send the children out in the morning to collect nuts and berries, then knead them into the lump with her callused hands.
“Do you know why we light a lamp tonight,” she would ask.
“No Savta, tell us.” Continue reading