Today, my forty-third birthday, I leave Heretu to take up residence at Streoneshalh on the River Esk—a monastery of men and women built to my specifications. I pray it becomes a beacon of education and spiritual growth.
King Oswy granted me the lands to suit his own purpose, and I, as his kinswoman, agreed. He may lose lands he controls directly, but the land he gives the church will always serve him. Oswy looks to eternity. When our stone church is complete, whatever is left of my Uncle Edwin’s bones will be placed there. Since Oswy doesn’t have to prove his bloodline anymore, I pray his desire to create a family mausoleum to include Edwin is from respect rather than boasting.
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