“The Field of the Lady” was the name which the peasants gave to a large tract of land belonging to a wealthy estate. The lord of the castle had bestowed these fertile acres upon his daughter and had told her to use the grain which the field produced as she saw fit. Each year at harvest time, she invited the impoverished peasants of the area to come and glean in her field, taking home with them as much grain as they needed for winter.
Occasionally, as the gleaners were immersed in their work, one of them would exclaim joyfully, “Ah, there comes the lady of the castle!” They could see her approaching from a distance, always dressed in a simple white woolen dress, with a scarf of white silk, striped with various colors, draped over her head. She cherished these moments of connection with her people, speaking words of encouragement and cheering them on as they worked.
One particularly sultry afternoon, the field was bustling with many peasants gleaning. The lady of the castle had been among them for several hours. Suddenly, she observed the ominous sky and said, “My friends, look at the menacing clouds gathering. I fear a storm is imminent. Let’s cease our gleaning for today and seek refuge.” The peasants quickly departed and the lady started toward the castle.
As she approached the verdant hedge that bordered the field, she spotted a beautiful young woman and a lovely child, whose hand she held, moving toward her. The child’s golden hair fell in waves over his white tunic.
“You came to glean,” said the lady of the castle in her warm, welcoming voice. “Come then, we’ll work together briefly before the rain falls.”
“Thank you,” replied the young woman.
The trio began to collect the ripe ears of grain, arranging them in small piles. However, their efforts were soon interrupted by a gust of wind sweeping across the field as heavy raindrops began to descend. Thunder echoed in the distance, and streaks of lightning tore the sky.
“Come, my friends,” said the lady of the castle. “We must seek shelter. See, near the wood, stands a robust oak, dense with foliage. Let us hurry to it and wait out the storm there.”
In short order, they reached the tree, taking refuge under its protective branches.
With his chubby hand, the child tried to shield his curly head with the end of his mother’s veil.
“You can use my scarf,” the lady of the castle offered, her smile radiant. She gently removed her scarf, swaddling the child’s head and shoulders, and tenderly kissed his youthful brow.
Suddenly, the dense clouds began to disperse. The lady of the castle ventured out from under the tree to assess the sky. The storm had passed, and birds were beginning to sing their post-storm melodies. She paused, captivated by the golden light illuminating the harvest field. The tranquil silence was filled by the distant echo of the sweetest music she had ever heard. It first seemed remote, then gradually grew louder, until the air vibrated with harmonious voices chanting melodiously in ethereal tones. As she turned towards her companions, she discovered they had vanished.
A faint sound, like the gentle rustling of wings, came from the distance. The lady of the castle cast her gaze towards the hedge where she had first noticed her enigmatic companions. There she saw them again — the stunning woman and the golden-haired child. They were gently ascending on fluffy clouds, accompanied by a band of angelic beings chanting a joyful Hosanna!
The astonishing vision gradually rose into the clear blue sky. The lady of the castle, stunned by what she witnessed, knelt on the damp ears of grain in the harvest field in silent admiration, for she knew she had seen the a greater spirit. As she worshipped in breathless silence, the earth yielded a bounty like none before. Above everything, the lovely rainbow arch — the arch of promise — shone across the Field of Alms.