#DailyLines #GoTELLTheBEESThatIAmGONE #Book9 #noitisntdone #Illtellyouwhenitis #meanwhileignorepolitics #breathedeep #andbeatpeace #JamietalkingwithRachel

“I need to meet wi’ a few men there,” Jamie had said, with a casual reserve that she knew was meant to protect her own feelings. She knew his business was that of war, and he knew how much that troubled her, but she knew how much it troubled him, and would not force him to say the things he was thinking, let alone the things he knew.

She’d spoken about it—the war—in general, in Meeting. Jamie nearly always came, but seldom spoke himself. He’d come in quietly, and sit on a back bench, head bowed, listening. Listening, as any Friend would, to the silence and his inner light. When people felt moved of the spirit to speak, he would listen courteously to them, too, but watching the remoteness of his face on these occasions, she thought his mind was still by itself, in quiet, persistent search.

“I dinna suppose Young Ian’s told ye much about Catholics,” he’d said to her once, when he’d paused after Meeting to give her a fleece he’d brought from Salem.

“Only when I ask him,” she said, with a smile. “And thee knows he’s no theologian. Roger Mac knows more, I think, regarding Catholic belief and practice. Does thee want to tell me something about Catholics? I know thee must feel seriously out-numbered every First Day.”

He’d smiled at that, and it made her heart glad to see it. He was so often troubled these days, and no wonder.

“Nay, lass, God and I get on well enough by ourselves. It’s only that when I come to your Meeting, sometimes it reminds me of a thing Catholics do now and then. It’s no a formal thing, at all—but a body will go and sit for an hour before the Sacrament. I’d do it now and then when I was a young man, in Paris. We call it Adoration.”

“What does thee do during that hour?” she’d asked, curious.

“Nothing in particular. Pray, for the most part. Read, maybe, the Bible or the writings of some saint. I’ve seen folk sing, sometimes. I remember once, goin’ into the chapel of Saint Sebastian in the wee hours of the morning, long before dawn--almost all the candles were burnt out--and hearin’ someone playing a guitar, singing. Very soft, not playing to be heard, ken. Just…singing before God.”

Something odd moved in his eyes at the recollection, but then he smiled at her again, a rueful smile.

“I think that may be the last music I remember really hearing.”


He touched the back of his head, briefly.

“I was struck in the heid wi’ an ax, many years gone. I lived, but I never heard music again. The pipes, fiddles, singin’... I ken it’s music, but to me, it’s nay more than noise. But that song…I dinna recall the song itself, but I know how I felt when I heard it.”

She’d never before seen a look on his face as she did when he called back that song for her, but quite suddenly she felt what he had felt in the depth of that distant night, and understood why he found peace in silent spaces.

[Excerpt from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Copyright 2019 Diana Gabaldon.]

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