It must have been hot and muggy that afternoon, walking down to the river Jordan. Dirt scratching between their toes and thirst cracking their sunburnt lips. The tour guide raised his toasted arm again over the heads of the crowd, to direct the exhausted stragglers on the right path. A few older women sat down on a rock, complaining about how long this was taking, and what else they should have done this morning.

He had not seen his brother in a long time. To be honest, I doubt either of them really regretted the time which had slipped away between them. When they parted it was not exactly on the best of terms. Jacob and his twin brother Esau had a relationship bound up in turmoil and adversity form the very beginning. There was betrayal and fear and stolen birthrights. No doubt there was envy and bitterness and a father’s heart which broke for his sons.

Cobblestone over cobblestone. Pacing steadily over the settled dirt of a thousand, maybe a million other sandals. Cracks filled up by particles of beach, mountain and desert, pressed deep into wrinkles the of this ancient street. My own black shoe powdered with the remnants of another world, stirred for a moment by every step I take. Smoky ashy remnants of a sudden volcanic eruption, withering olive leaves rotting in a quiet garden, pulverized rubble of a temple where God once dwelt. Dull, chalky, dirty history walking along the path with me, on me, part of me during my short morning walk.