The story had been milling about in his head for months, though centring on a different protagonist. So, his focus had never been on Mara.
Yet, she was incredibly brave, and followed her heart and her intuition to become a leader among leaders. Really, she was what his contemporaries would call "an ascended master".
He had taken little notice of her, because his story was about someone else.
Yet, typically, she persisted her way into his consciousness.
First, it was because one of his students led him to a text that alluded to her. Here, she was the first and the last; the alpha and omega; the one.
Next, a book that randomly appeared in a marketing proposal that he would normally have ignored, explained the historical context of her life. She was a woman unlike any other, and yet vilified throughout history, because men feared what effect her real life would have on their authority and power. When she lived, men felt superior to women, and did what they could to keep them quiet and unheard.
He was doing the same: he was ignoring her.
Then, his friend sent a recommendation for another book that was also food for thought. Now, he discovered that she wasn't just a disciple, nor even an apostle. She was an ascended master in her own right.
As much as these little coincidences kept popping into his consciousness, he thought nothing of them. They were random. They were unrelated. They were unsolicited answers to a question he hadn't even pondered.
And then, one Saturday morning like any other, he met his siblings for coffee. The sun had been out, and warm enough for an alfresco breakfast.
The westerly blew in a gale, as if to tell all the trees to drop whatever leaves they clung to, because spring was coming and they needed to make room for new growth, now!
At coffee, while he was more concerned with home maintenance, his sisters chatted about the books they were reading. They texted details to all, and said farewell.
He got into his car; and on impulse, decided to visit a store that sold haberdashery and soft furnishings. He had felt the cold this winter, as he sat typing his next great masterpiece. Maybe he could find a rug or a throw to cover his aging knees in the coming months.
Parking was tight, but as he picked up his phone to go into the store, he saw the texts from his sisters. He'd only half-listened to their conversations because he was distracted by his ever-growing home repair to-do list. The texts mentioned books about her! Still, no pennies dropped. No connection, just randomness in the wind.
He searched through the store, not liking the rugs and throws on offer. Then, just as he was leaving, a doona cover caught his eye. A luxurious teal crushed velvet, that was smooth and delicate to touch. It was lovely. And on sale.
Upon getting home, he pulled the doona cover out of it's packaging to look at it more closely, and the label came out. "Mara".
The sound of pennies, dropping distantly in heaven, chorused with his exhalation as he sighed, "ahhh!"
She was calling him, across space and time, and whispering, "Know me".