In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Matthew 3:1-3

 

For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John;

and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.

Matthew 11:13-14

 

Waking, white fades into discernible colours, hazy but there.  Solid, tangible, real.  I’m real.

            I’m sitting.  Sitting on a grassy riverbank, my feet in the water.  Faint birdsong in the distance.  Beyond that, a soft hum, like there were singers just out of sight.

            “Shalom, cousin.”  From out of the haze appears a man, as if walking out of a mist, or just coming into focus.  He is short, swarthy, bearded.  His hands look strong, capable.  Hair tightly curled, I know him, but don’t know from where or when.

            “Remember the last time we were by a river, John?”  He asks, sitting beside me with a warm smile.  “You paved the way for me, my water bearer.  A sign of my coming, the Son of Man.  And you felt like you couldn’t even tie my sandals.”

            He’s not speaking English, but I understand him perfectly.  We sit comfortably, like old friends, or family.

            “I’m sorry if you suffered, Elijah,” he says, his eyes deep with emotion.  “It’s not quite done yet.”

            He stands, and looks at me.

            “Whatever you do, Gawain, don’t eat the fruit.”

            It all fades out again, back into oblivion.

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