When I am an old man I shall not wear purple. I shall retire to the Pahranagat Valley and dwell not too far from the lake. I shall not wear purple – but dark brown and burnt orange – except in summer, robin’s egg blue. If they will have me, I may for a time ride circuit to churches which may not now exist and some that do, until my vocation fades and my absences are the greater blessings.
And I shall be obsequious to the Sharps, the Whipples, and all the valley thanes. I will develop a Druidic devotion to a tree, perhaps three, remembering the oaks of Mamre and hoping for a visit. I shall tend them gratuitously, officiously, and like a kind woman, they will tolerate my attention.
Eventually I will be buried beneath the thick mat of fallen reeds along the lake shore. Strong young people will cover me with a cairn of stones they have wheel barrowed from the nearby hills, forgiving me my incorrigible devotion to the Church and its arcane beliefs because they know I meant no harm. When the cairn has sunk into the soft and sodden decay of reeds, my faults and failings will be forgotten even by myself. This is not a sad reverie I indulge here on Windmill Ridge, but hope for a personal peace on earth and with the earth, that I may find joy in heaven.