Background: The story is rapidly coming to it’s conclusion and becoming harder for me to write knowing this. I started the tales a year ago as an exercise in writing simple little fantasies about a young girl of the Tuatha de Danaan trying to find her lost dreams, but as I went along it began to take on a life and direction of it’s own. It eventually became a journey that unravels time in a search for a sacred spring where the story all began. As with all creativity, some of the tone of the tale is touched by experiences in my own life. Thank you to all my readers for bearing with me and taking the journey with little Niamh.
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I’m hoping the story is not getting away from me in my own fervour, so I continue and hope you will enjoy
The Priest’s Tale and a Revelation After the Rain
As Niamh began to walk toward the firefly path she stopped and turned around. She was afraid to ask the strange priest outright about the fate of the “curious bauble.” “What happened to the old man? ” she asked instead. The holy man looked at her intently and answered, “He had told us a strange tale! He said he was looking for the road back to a land far more beautiful than any heaven of which we spoke, and he had to return to someone he had left there. We knew his mind was touched with some kind of madness. He was so very old but he said he had been a young man when he began his journey from that place to this- wherever that place was!” He paused and continued, his voice rising in an imposing tone, “But eventually when he realized he was dying he gave up hope of finding the way back. He died in the grace of our Lord and went to heaven. One of our brethren baptized him at the spring.”
Niamh turned away in sadness, not wanting to hear more. At the same time she feared now that her own journey might never be completed, so gathering her courage she turned around again and called out, “What became of the dream?” but the priest was already out of sight and didn’t reply.
Niamh wondered if this last dream was now lost forever. Rain began to fall from the sky like tears of the moon, extinguishing the poor fireflies. Determined to reach the spring she walked on through the dark woods. Each drop of water that hit the path resounded like an echo inside the hallway of her memories. Apparitions that looked like mirrors appeared on either side of the misted path, dissolving as she passed by. She thought she saw the reflections of her dreams floating in them, and she wondered what the rider, the old man and her dreams had in common. The answer felt very close but not yet ready to reveal itself.
Finally and as suddenly as it began, the rain stopped. When she glanced up she saw the trees were full of raindrop lanterns, lighting up the forest ceiling. Niamh thought she heard Bran singing from somewhere at the top of the trees. At once she knew that the Tuatha de Danaan didn’t die like men. The light within them went everywhere and became part of everything! Bran was out there and he was still watching over her! Clouds parted and the moon waved a farewell just as dawn opened her curtain and swept the forest floor with light. The red stag stepped out of the shadowy bracken.
Photos: Using filters and overlays can be like waving that magic wand over photos.