They sat embroidering the stars. Mary stitched the proud satisfaction of the Eastern Star while Sophia scattered light across the cloak in memory of the one who had taught her to leap.
It embarrassed Mary, sometimes, being clad in the stars. But it was an act of remembrance that brought hope and courage to those who had seen enough of darkness.
Sophia watched as Mary’s hand slipped and the needle pierced her finger. All over the cloak the blood hid beneath the starlight.
‘Do you remember that night?’ Sophia asked her.
Mary looked bewildered, then realised that Sophia meant birth, not death.
‘Do you?’ Mary asked pointedly.
It was always a matter of confusion for her: just what did Sophia remember? What had that little child known, as he burst into the world to fulfill every Godly dream?
Sophia thought about it. As Christ: yes. She remembered. She remembered what it was like for God to create a space for all creation — to create a space between Word and Wisdom so that she could enter wordless to the womb. She could still feel the power of it — God holding back and holding back so that the boy could grow freely until he realised that in the fullness of his humanity, he was the Word of God.
But the birth, the stable? Through Jesus’ eyes: no. Later, when they visited Joseph’s family, Joseph told the story: “It was there, son: in the stable. We were so tired and so afraid. But the animals kept us warm and once the angels came we forgot our fears.” Jesus remembered the stable: the old ox who snuffled at his ear, and the donkey who nibbled his cloak. He remembered too the shimmering of the place — the sawdust glimmering gold in the sunlight, as Zadkiel forgot to hide himself, and Jesus saw him for the first time.
“I remember some of it.” Sophia said at last. “I remember what I learned — what you and Joseph taught me.”
“And I remember what I learned — what you taught me,” the Old Man said gruffly, as he entered the room to bring an end to their sewing. “Come with me now. Jophiel has a new Gloria. He’s very excited about it. He seems to think he’s voiced the scent of roses.”
Mary felt God gathering as Sophia laughed. She took up the stars, and they went together to hear the angels sing.