Jesus the son of my daughter, was born here in Nazareth in the month of January. And the night that Jesus was born we were visited by men from the East. They were Persians who came to Esdraelon with the caravans of the Midianites on their way to Egypt. And because they did not find rooms at the inn they sought shelter in our house.
And I welcomed them and I said, “My daughter has given birth to a son this night. Surely you will forgive me if I do not serve you as it behooves a hostess.”
Then they thanked me for giving them shelter. And after they had supped they said to me: “We would see the new-born.”
Now the Son of Mary was beautiful to behold, and she too was comely.
And when the Persians beheld Mary and her babe, they took gold and silver from their bags, and myrrh and frankincense, and laid them all at the feet of the child.
Then they fell down and prayed in a strange tongue which we did not understand.
And when I led them to the bedchamber prepared for them they walked as if they were in awe at what they had seen.
When morning was come they left us and followed the road to Egypt.
But at parting they spoke to me and said, “The child is not but a day old, yet we have seen the light of our God in His eyes and the smile of our God upon His mouth.
“We bid you protect Him that He may protect you all.”
And so saying, they mounted their camels and we saw them no more.
Now Mary seemed not so much joyous in her first-born, as full of wonder and surprise.
She would look upon her babe, and then turn her face to the window and gaze far away into the sky as if she saw visions.
And there were valleys between her heart and mine.
And the child grew in body and in spirit, and He was different from other children. He was aloof and hard to govern, and I could not lay my hand upon Him.
But He was beloved by everyone in Nazareth, and in my heart I knew why.
Oftentimes He would take away our food to give to the passerby. And He would give other children the sweet meat I had given Him, before He had tasted it with His own mouth.
He would climb the trees of my orchard to get the fruits, but never to eat them Himself.
And He would race with other boys, and sometimes, because He was swifter of foot, He would delay so that they might pass the stake ere He should reach it.
And sometimes when I led Him to His bed He would say, “Tell my mother and the others that only my body will sleep. My mind will be with them till their mind come to my morning.”
And many other wondrous words He said when He was a boy, but I am too old to remember.
Now they tell me I shall see Him no more. But how shall I believe what they say?
I still hear His laughter, and the sound of His running about my house. And whenever I kiss the cheek of my daughter His fragrance returns to my heart, and His body seems to fill my arms.
But is it not passing strange that my daughter does not speak of her first-born to me?
Sometimes it seems that my longing for Him is greater than hers. She stands as firm before the day as if she were a bronzen image, while my heart melts and runs into streams.
Perhaps she knows what I do not know. Would that she might tell me also.