After the betrothal, Mary and Nara’s mother, Rebekah, excitedly began making wedding preparations. Thomas, with the help of David, Neka, and David’s brothers, began building a house for he and Nara to live in. Thomas and Nara traveled to each other’s homes as often as they could as they did not like being apart. While visiting each other, they spent time at the markets finding all the necessary household goods they would need.
Because Nara loved animals and was gifted with them, Thomas assured Nara that he would build a good fence for all her animals. She had chickens and goats and wanted to be sure they had a secure place for them. She also had a small dog with medium length scruffy fur, Pepi, and a medium sized white mare, Flora, that had brown and black flower-like splotches all over her. Nara loved her mare and her dog. Pepi went with her just about everywhere that she went.
Nara and Flora had been together since she was 10 years old when her father’s brother, Payat, gave Flora to her as a small foal. Nara was present when Flora was born. The mare experienced complications during the birth process, but Payat skillfully helped the mare give birth to the little foal. Nara was immediately smitten with the little foal, but noticed that her right front leg was injured which happened during the difficult birth process. She worriedly pointed out the hurt leg to her uncle, who had already observed the leg. He told her that they would probably have to put the foal down; it was very difficult and almost impossible to heal a horse’s leg after it has been injured. Nara was heartbroken. She cried, begged, and pleaded with her uncle to try to heal the leg. The mother of the foal also seemed to be heartbroken and looked to Payat to help her little foal. His wife, Sima, who was also present during the last part of the birth process, with immediate concern stated that she would go to the animal healer and request that he come as soon as he could to look at the foal’s leg.
While Sima was gone, the mother horse continued to lick her foal and gently nudge her to stand up, but because of the injured leg, the foal was unable to. Nara sat down by the foal, put her head in her nap and stroked her beautiful white neck. The mother horse, sensing Nara’s concern for her baby, continued to lick her baby and gave Nara sweet nudges with her head.
Knowing that the foal needed to eat, Payat gently urged the mother over to where the foal would be able to reach her udder. Payat carefully lifted the head of the foal to the udder where she clumsily, but hungrily sucked. He gave Nara a big smile and informed her that this was a good sign that hopefully the foal would be able to heal. Nara reminded him that she had been praying the entire time; she did not want the foal put down for any reason.
Sima soon came back with the animal healer. The healer, Dagan, looked at the foal’s injured leg, gently rubbed it between his strong, yet gentle hands, looked heavenward, then applied an herbal poultice he brought with him near the knee. He wrapped a soft white linen cloth around the poultice and leg to keep the herbs in place.
Dagan warmly smiled at Nara, seeing how she tenderly cared for the foal and expressed that because of the love she was sending to it, the foal’s leg would heal and she would become an amazing horse. He instructed Nara to put her hands on the area where the poultice was and leave them there for several minutes at least three times a day. He gave her additional herbs to change out every two days. Nara felt grateful to be able to do something to help this beautiful foal heal.
After Dagan left, Payat surprised Nara by telling her that if she would take care of the foal and help her to heal, he would give the foal to her. She was ecstatic! She always wanted her own horse and now she had this sweet little foal to care for. Payat reminded her that it would be a great deal of work, especially the first few days, until the leg healed. Nara promised that she would be with the foal as long as she could, knowing that she had chores to complete and her studies to keep up with.
Nara kept her promise; she faithfully helped nurse the foal back to health. She named the foal Flora because the brown and black spots reminded her of flowers. As the foal grew, Payat and Sima helped Nara train her. They taught her how to let Nara ride her and how to help round up cattle. When Nara rode Flora, they seemed to flow together in unity; it was like they were one. They loved to ride together, whether it was for pure enjoyment, if they worked to help round up cattle, or traveled to shop or visit others, especially Thomas.
The marriage day finally arrived! The marriage was held in Thomas’s city, since that is where they would live and where Thomas had built their house. The marriage was held outside the synagogue where they attended their Sabbath meeting. The day could not have been more perfect. It was as if Heaven smiled down on this young couple and offered them the best possible start to their life together. The spring sun shone brightly, puffy cumulus clouds dotted the sky, birds cheerfully sang, and the scents of various colorful flowers permeated the air.
Many friends and relative came from near and far to witness the marriage ceremony. Vendors were thrilled as so many came to their city and purchased their various goods and services.
Nara came out of David and Mary’s house beautifully dressed in a silky white dress adorned with embroidered white roses, that came to the middle of her calves, the sleeves ended just below her elbows. The bodice was covered with an intricate lace. Her mother’s sister, a renowned dressmaker, with the help of many others, made the astonishing dress for her. Nara’s face and hair were covered in a traditional lace veil, in fact, it was the veil her mother wore at her wedding. Her long hair was plaited and adorned with small blue five-petaled flowers to accentuate her blue eyes. She carried a small bundle of blue and white flowers. She looked absolutely radiant!
Thomas, standing by the prophet who would marry them, felt his heart leap when he saw his ravishing bride. He wore a traditional knee length white tunic with a silky blue belt surrounding his waist. The tunic had short sleeves and a similar silky blue scarf draped around his neck. Nara’s father led his beautiful daughter through the crowd of onlookers to Thomas. He spoke a few words in private to Thomas then gave him Nara’s hand.
The simple ceremony was resplendent as the young couple were united into a new family. At the appropriate time, the prophet enthusiastically instructed Thomas to lift the veil from Nara’s face and kiss his new wife. Thomas willingly followed the instructions and bestowed a passionate kiss to Nara’s luscious lips to the delight of all those looking on.
After the ceremony, friends and family celebrated with grand festivities. There was a wide variety of food available, musicians played and sang, and dancers danced. All who celebrated with them enjoyed their time together. It was a great break from the usual life’s tasks.
As the sun began to near the horizon displaying brilliant shades of red, orange, yellow, and some light purple, it was time for Thomas and Nara to begin the traditional walk to their new home. Friends and family gathered on each side of the path to their home and gave them well-wishes as they walked by. When they reached the door, Thomas waved at family and friends, then effortlessly swooped Nara into his arms and carried her across the threshold into their new home.
After reminiscing about their day and having fun teasing each other, Thomas took Nara’s face into his masculine hands and lovingly kissed her. Nara leaned into the kiss, enjoying the awareness that they would now be together. Thomas drew back, stared into her deep blue eyes and told her that he was the luckiest man alive! He imparted his deepest feelings for her and shared his desire to be with her forever. He then guided Nara to a comfortable cushion where he had her sit, put his hands on her head and gave her his first blessing as her husband.
(To be continued…)