The path from the beach to the house was so familiar that I could almost walk it in my sleep, and probably have.
As I finally trudged around the corner, exhausted from another night fishing and saw our home I could almost feel the weight drop off my shoulders.
Esther was hanging out clothes to dry, her back was to me, and as I watched her body shift under her dress as she bent to her basket, I marvelled again at how lucky I was.
She could have had anyone in the town. And she had picked me, and I wasn’t complaining, we looked like the odd couple when we were together. I’m sure most of our friends were as confused as I was over her choice.
There was me, big and hairy, never sure whether I was about to put my foot in it again, physically or figuratively and then there was the love of my life.
I remember when I had first met her, we were hardly more than children. Me, klutzy, stumbling over my tongue and feet and her the very picture of grace, I loved her from the moment I saw her. Her, not so much, but eventually, I won her over with my charm, or at least my perseverance.
Without saying a word, I wrapped my arms around her and nuzzled into her long thick hair. “I wov yoo.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“I said ‘I love you’”
“I wov you too, Simon. How come you’re running late this morning?”
“There must have been a submerged log where we set the nets the last time, and it tore things up. Andrew and I figured it would be better to mend things now rather than tonight; it just took longer than we thought it would.”
“Oh, honey I’m so sorry, you must be exhausted. I’ll get breakfast ready while you get washed up and then you can crash for the day.”
I shared the house with Andrew, and then Esther joined us after we were married. When Esther’s father passed away, we moved her mother in so she wouldn’t be alone.
Esther had brothers and sisters, but with their children, it was just easier for us to make the transition. And tending to her mom seemed to make it easier for Esther to deal with the fact that no matter how much we wanted them, children didn’t seem to be in our future.
As promised breakfast was on the table when I came in from getting washed up. The water in the basin had been chilly but the morning sun had warmed me, and I was feeling halfway human again, and the smell of warm bread reminded me of how hungry I was.
“Andrew’s off to hear John again this morning” I mumbled, “I Don’t know where he finds the time and energy he spends looking for the Messiah.”
“Well, he doesn’t have a wife or family to go home to, so I suppose he has that time and energy to spare.”
“True enough, but if I didn’t have you, I’d be looking for someone like you instead of chasing after someone who looked like John. Have you seen him? A beard down to the middle of his chest, hair halfway down his back and his robe looks like it was made from a dead camel. Seriously, the man looks like the stories the rabbi’s told us about Elijah in Cheder”
Esther grinned, “And your father always said you never paid attention in Cheder. Simon, you have your feet planted firmly on the ground and I love that about you, but your brother is looking for something that will outlive us all. Andrew’s Messiah won’t only change our world; He will change the world. And you can’t fault him for following his dreams.”
“Maybe, but I don’t need a dreamer, I need someone that I can count on to pull his share aboard the boat.”
“I’m sure he will do his part, and we never have to worry about you chasing after the next Messiah, so everything will be fine.”