Landscape with Northern Lights - Attempt to Paint the Aurora Borealis, 1790s, by Jens Juel. (from here)
Landscape with Northern Lights – Attempt to Paint the Aurora Borealis, 1790s, by Jens Juel. (from here)

Here we continue the telling of the story of Petrus and Rona.


Petrus ran recklessly, far outdistancing his townsmen, those he had left at the teetering rock. Eyes full of tears, choking back sobs, he was already mourning Rona. And yet he hoped.

He arrived at his home, briefly composed himself and walked through the door, looking for Rona. He found the windows opened and everything in order, except Rona lay collapsed onto a bench.

Petrus walked over and touched Rona. When she did not respond, he gently shook her. She opened her eyes, looked at Petrus, and smiled. “He answered me, Petrus! He said to have faith.”

Rona spoke softy, but Petrus could not miss the joy. Her eyes closed, and Petrus could not rouse her again. In a few moments, she stopped breathing.  Briefly, Petrus sat in shock. Then Petrus quietly raged in anger, wondering who to blame, who to destroy. Finally, he thought of her last words,  “He said to have faith.”

He bent over and kissed his Beloved one last time. “I will not do anything that would separate me from you. I will have faith.” Then he cried again, wailing her name, “Rona!”

When Rona’s sister, Freja, heard Petrus’ cry, she came running. She saw Petrus in anguish, the sword on the floor, and Rona laying quietly on the bench. Petrus saw her. He stooped to pick up the sword. Then he wiped the tears from his eyes and spoke. “I have no choice, Freja, my sister. I must go. Can you and the women prepare a funeral pyre for Rona?”

Shocked, Freja said nothing. She had wanted this morning to be like so many of the others before it. She walked over, bent down, and shook Rona. She saw she was not breathing, and cried softly. Then Freja stood up and turned to Petrus. She looked at the sword again. Then she nodded, “yes.”

Petrus gripped Freja shoulder. Before she died, she spoke. She said: “‘He answered me, Petrus! He said to have faith.’ God answered her prayer. I don’t understand, but she died joyfully.”

Then Petrus walked out the door. Again he started running, this time to battle. How could they win? He did not know. He only knew what Rona had said. “He said to have faith.”

To Be Continued


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