I wrap my arms around him. “You are home.” We stay like that, kneeling on the ground for a long time.

Finally, Isaac breaks the silence, “Do you think a person can be born again?”

“You mean born into Christ, like religion?”

“No, not that way. Just you open your eyes and you see everything fresh and in a new way.” We are still locked together and I stare out over his shoulder at the green trees and the sparkling grasses on the other side of the river, trying to understand what he means.

“I was in a dark cave of my own making,” he goes on, “and you rolled away the stone. Not everyone gets a second chance.”

“It was a very heavy stone,” I joke, but he isn’t joking.

“Come here.” I gesture, as I let go of him and crawl across the sand to the edge of the water. “Lie down.” He looks at me funny but does what I say. “On your back.”

I cup both my hands and drip cold water over his head, run my fingers through his hair. He doesn’t struggle. I don’t have to hold him.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m baptizing you.”

“Baptizing me?”

“In the name of the sun, and the trees, and the holy water.”

Then Isaac Blum grabs me, pulls me right down on him so that our bodies are one, and in the shallows of the Hope, we baptize each other.


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