Desolate. De The word caught the edge of the wind and plummeted into her heart echoing, reverberating, until it encompassed and inundated every part of her soul.
Desolate. De She stared into the darkness, searching the recesses of her mind. Then she remembered. The prophet Isaiah used that word to describe Babylon.
"It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation...And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces..."
She shrugged. "All those times I listened as the words of the prophet were read, all the wonderful, tempting promises of God, and THIS is what I remember."
She had come out in the pre-dawn hours to search — wander — through the dark narrow bends in memory. She had hoped — hoped desperately — to discover a reason — one tiny reason for life.
As she delved further — searched deeper — any glimmer of hope she had was extinguished. Wilderness surrounded her. A stark, empty, forlorn barrenness, brokenness.
As the light of dawn broke and dispelled the darkness, she stood from the rock, the decision made. A gust of wind caught her red-brown hair and as it swirled about her, she gloried in the freedom of her new course. Since she had nothing to live for — no one to live for — she would stop living. She did not know when or how, but she knew the day would come — and come soon — when she would end her life. Momentarily, she recalled the law, and knew that to take her own life was to murder and would separate her from the God of her Fathers; but Law gives no hope — and without hope, there is no Life.
The sun's rays caught the crest of a wave and danced toward her on the shore. She moved back from the water instinctively, realizing even in this freedom of death, the reality of life; water on her robes would be heavy as she walked home.
A man came toward her, sauntering down the beach. She saw the boldness in his eyes and the cocky smirk that played the corners of his mouth. He was a large man, broad shouldered and big muscled with dark curly hair and beard. Normally, she would have played with him...teased him. But not this morning. The seductive gestures, coy looks, and bawdy words that came so naturally were gone. Freed from life, from a future, she also was freed from the demands of her present... and her past.
Without a word, with hardly a glance toward him, Mary slowly turned, pulled her cloak tightly about her, and walked away.