I am the older sister, of a boy four years younger. My brother Steven. Steve. Stevie. Steve Yolen who lives in Brazil.

So the story of Miriam resonates for me--that oldest sister, a seeress/author, a musician, a leader of her people who both works for and sometimes defies the Lord. 

“Speak truth to power” is my motto.

I am the one who handles well, and mishandles at times, her role in the liberation of her tribe. Who keeps the sacred memories alive, a teller of stories both historical and allegorical. Who carries (literally and figuratively) the water that keeps her brother and his followers alive. I found my strength in Miriam’s story. My calling perhaps. 

Though my brother has lived almost all of his adult life in Brazil, we keep in touch. He is surrounded by children and grandchildren, some his, some step-kids, all who adore him. He no longer needs me to watch over him, to show him the path, carry his water. But I do, if only in my dreams and hopes for him. I watched him become an award-winning journalist, translator, book and magazine writer, plus the lead guitarist/singer in the best Bluegrass band in Brazil. (OK, he has admitted it’s the ONLY bluegrass band in Brazil.) I am enormously proud of him, as Miriam was of Moses. But not so proud that I forget to remind him who is oldest, who has more books out, who has more followers on Facebook. My role also makes sure that I am alpha here. He’s a corker and I am, with the well on my shoulder, often the cork!

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