My Scrolls

The English (Saxon) Gold of Significance (5 of 6) (17.3.14)

“The English (Saxon) gold of significance is a blessing of disclosure,

                                                                     is a blessing of inheritance,

                                                                     is a blessing of accomplishment from which records have been destroyed upon the earth,

                                                                     is a blessing from the heavens where records still exist.

The thunderstorms of life still impacted on The widow in her times of tribulation –

                                      for she lived to see the death of her firstborn grandchild:

                                                       when he was unhorsed in the crossing of a river,

                                                       when he was in his prime and fearless in pursuit,

                                                       when he still had no heir so called the next born to account,

                                                       when he was betrothed and left a broken heart with marriage plans in tatters.

The thunderstorms of life befell the widow in the closing years of her life:

                                                       when the turmoil of the times beset her once again,

                                                       when the turmoil of the land grab by a baron had to be defended,

                                                                                                                  a baron born and bred in a northern princedom,

                                                                                                                  a baron unknown to the Christian faith.

                      For the baron had eyes bigger than his stomach,

                                                            bigger than his resources,

                                                            bigger than his clan of varlets,

                                                            bigger than his ability to conquer,

                                                            bigger than to admit defeat in the seizure of the land.

The thunderstorms of life for the widow necessitated tempestuous alliances,

                                                                                                               doubting of success,

                                                                                      fear hiding within the hours of darkness,

                                                                                      fear with the launching of arrows which carried fire,

                                                                            the baying of the hounds at distance which warned of the likelihood of intruders.

The thunderstorms of life for the widow saw alliance requiring settlement for services,

                                                                 saw the diminishing of an estate as debts were settled,

                                                                 saw the baron eventually leaving empty handed –

                                                     as his clan of varlets tried to plunder and to pillage along the line of their retreat.

The thunderstorms of life spread vicissitudes aplenty:

                                                          brought flooding from the river –

                                                                                                        to the pastures used for cattle,

                                                                                                        to the pastures of the winter’s feed,

                                                                                                        to the pastures of the summer’s hay;

                                                          brought snowstorms with a wonderland –

                                                                                                        which quickly turned to slush;

                                                          brought hailstorms out of season –

                                                                                                        which stripped the apples,

                                                                                                                                 the pears,

                                                                                                                                 the quinces,

                                                                                                                          together with the plums and figs;

                                                          brought drought extending past two annual seasons of the rains –

                                                                                                        to then soak the harvest of the grains;

                                                          brought the late frosts which cut the blossoms –

                                                                                                        from the fruit trees in the springtime of delight;

                                                          brought the threats of weevils and of rodents –

                                                                                to attack the winter storage of the harvest after spring to autumn labouring.

The thunderstorms of life were times of exceeding difficulty,

                                    with attacks on viability of an estate now held in trust of inheritance for the first-born son:

                                                                                   that which was not unduly threatened by the economics of the day,

                                                                                   that which was hoped would stand into the distant future,

                                                                                   that which was hoped would be the standard bearer of the family –

                                                                                                          both at court and throughout the land with influence.

The standard of the family was surmounted by the cross of God,

                                                                                   held the cross of God in pre-eminence,

                                                                                   honoured the cross of God in its placement on the standard.

The standard of the family was carried in many skirmishes,

                                            was not seen as a battle flag raised for the patron and the family,

                                            was not seen as a threat by neighbours and foe alike.

The standard of the family was hard put to muster forty men at horse,

                                            was hard put to equip them to be arrayed for battle,

                                            was hard put to equip them with the sword and with the lance and armour for protection,

                                            was hard put to support them at a distance with fodder and with keep –

                                                                                                         when the estate became depleted by a call to arms.

The standard of the family never fell in the skirmishes to which it was deployed,

                                            never did much good,

                                            never did much damage,

                                                       mostly had nothing but a brisk canter round the countryside –

                                                                  with arrangements usually in place to be home for the evening meal.

                      For no-one wanted to be hurt,

                                                                  least of all,

                                                                                 to die.

The standard of the family became a jest amongst the locals of the countryside –

                                                                  as they spread word around of the ‘outings’,

                                                                                                                                   so they said,

                                                                                                                                            to ‘catch’ a fox;

                                                                                                                    the ‘outings’,

                                                                                                                                   so they said,

                                                                                                                                            where they ‘settled’ for a rabbit;

                                                                the ‘outings’ where the horses were seen to shy when confronted by a badger –

                                                                                                                                                with her family in tow.

The standard of the family was never carried by a horse at gallop –

                                                                                                intent on the jumping of a fence –

                                                                                                always curtsied and bowed by going through a gate,

                                                                                                rarely was seen even in the jumping of a creek –

                                                                           in case there was a need to continue with the costume well and truly wet.

The history of the family was enhanced by the in-laws inherited with marriages:

                                      for the mixing of the blood created bonds unto the fourth generation –

                                                         when grandparents were no longer on the scene,

                                                         when their influence rapidly diminished as this latter generation came of age –

                                                         when the young and confident became filled with different expectations of success.

The history of the family changed with the social mores of the times;

                      so the stability of the small holdings of the past were lost by agglomeration into estates of grandeur:

                                               those which commandeered and seized according to the will of the wielder of the power –

                                                                some ignoble noble who scarce could spell his name,

                                                                                                 who could still be counted on for following the pagan gods,

                                                                                                 who still could be measured by his waste as a profligate,

                                                                                                       by his debauchery while frequenting with the charlatans,

                                                                                                       by his greed and selfishness –

                                                                   all reflected in a character assessed without approval or admiration as his people suffered.

The history of the family suffered somewhat from menial ties from beyond the marriage bed,

                                                                        from unsavoury relationships born of drunken nights within a tavern,

                                                                        from lusts and urges complicated by the freedom of availability,

                                                                        from the youngsters in a family that had no impact on the senior line of descent,

                                                                                                                           that created no threat by leaving such inheritance intact. 

                      So the trading goods expanded,

                                      as the memory of the Romans departed from the living,

                                      as the sailing vessels enlarged within the growing abilities of the day,

                                      as the growth of the followers of Christ sealed the governance of a nation yet to be.

The history of the family expanded in its wealth as some took to trading with their neighbours,

                                                                              as some took to trading with those behind the broken wall of an emperor’s last

                                                                              as some took to trading at the river mouths with ports,

                                                                              as some turned out to be none too honest in their dealings with their fellow man.

                      So some became the masters of their merchandise,

                                                  the masters of expansion,

                                                  the masters of their journeys,

                                                  the masters of their own rewards.

                      So some became the very wealthy masters of their piles of gold,

                                                                                           of their piles of silver,

                                                                       of their stockpiles of their merchandise awaiting readiness to trade –

                                                                                                                     upon the vessels berthed within the harbours.

The Masters of their merchandise became secure within the wealth;

                                                       had envious eyes roaming in their directions,

                                                       had envious eyes reporting on their travels,

                                                       had envious eyes become shrewder by the day,

                                                       had envious eyes linking into violence,

                                                       had envious eyes willing to usurp as timidity turned to boldness,

                                                                                                              as weakness turned to strength,

                                                                                                              as watchers turned into competitors.”


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