Since learning to fight at age 7, my family and the Church had kept me busy. At 16 I had travelled across to a new island that Duke William conquered. My father had urged I go with him since the Church had supported his claim to the throne of England. There were several times that I had been sent to the nearby island of the Celts called Eire at the Church’s request. Now, in 1095, a new request has been issued by Pope Urban II, and I am old and desiring retirement. The age old question is to stay or go.
What to do
I am reminded of an old wise woman’s comments, “If you burn bridges, make sure you cross first.” I surely have two paths I could take – to retire from my life of fighting for the Church or head out on a new crusade to defend Christendom from the Seljuk Turks. I have had a life of many successful and lucky campaigns and it is what I know best. I feel the pull of service but at 46, I am older than too many of the young and inexperienced fighters signing up for this crusade.