We are nearing the end my dear readers- only one more installment to go after this and why has it become such a struggle and so, so hard!!? I revised and re-revised these two chapters till my eyes fell out and my brain froze. I hesitated to push the post button. I have to stop. I can think no more. So without further ado here it is in it’s current imperfection awaiting a few future tweaks. And for those who don’t want to read I hope you will enjoy the images.
Griogal Cridhe (Beloved Gregor)
The Arrival at the Spring
The red stag led the way through a grove where light billowed like a veil between the trees. He would go no further. Stopping short of an opening in the thicket he bowed his head in blessing. Before he turned to go, Niamh looked into his knowing eyes and in their mirrored depths she thought she saw Bran retreating into the forest. She stepped through the woodland portal and into a swirling cloud that slowly materialized into a narrow rocky clearing. At the far end was a stony incline and water poured out of a crevice into the pool below. It took a moment for her to realize that she had at long last arrived at her destination! Overwhelmed, she sat down and tightly held the pouch containing her dreams. Letting her thoughts drift with the mists that were moving over the wildflowers and bluebells she was soon lulled into deep slumber.
The day folded itself into the cavern of night. A thousand torches were lit in procession across the sky with the Lady Moon soon following. Out of the shadowy trees Niamh saw two human figures approach carrying torches of their own. One of them looked like the unfamiliar holy man she had met in the woods. The other had flowing white hair, and though his step was heavy, a fierce light blazed in his eyes. She recognized him as the rider she had seen on the path when she met the Morrigan. Neither of the two men seemed aware of her presence and Niamh wondered if she had yet to awaken.
The Ninth Dream
Solemnly the white haired one dropped a glowing object into the spring. It slowly grew dimmer as it sank beneath the starlit surface. He then knelt down and the light in his own eyes dimmed. Tears trickled down his lined cheeks and fell into the pool. She watched him bow his head as the younger man poured water from a pitcher over him. Niamh was aware that this was a sacred ceremony. Was it the baptism of which the unknown priest had spoken – and what terrible price had been demanded for its benediction?
The old man seemed weary and lay down soon afterwards. He closed his eyes and Niamh saw the Morrigan of death alighting nearby as a crow. She felt grief and confusion. Loneliness filled her like the howl of a wolf and the pouch she carried suddenly became full of heavy stones. Was this the woeful end of the journey? She longed to go home but the quest was not complete. Somehow the mysterious rider was bound to her own destiny. He had sacrificed something very precious. It wasn’t just the old ways he had returned to their ancient source, it was the magic that he had forsaken. It was her own vision! She didn’t know how he had come by it but she knew there was something yet to be revealed. She would need to retrieve this last and most powerful dream.