The Swan Maiden’s Tale

I have not been inspired much lately but  here is a  swan snippet that popped into my beleaguered brain. The images were taken at Hatley Castle’s lagoon in late summer, and after playing  with textures and Photoshop edits, a fragment of story emerged.This might be a continuation of one of the chapters of  Tales of the Tuatha  where Niamh met the motherless children waiting by the water.

It is of course inspired by much older fairy tales of shape shifting, dark spells and swan maidens, and those long shadows of the golden and late summer afternoons and twilight.

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swans-best

Sometimes in the late evening she would rise from the water in secret and look through the window at the children tucked away safely in their beds. If they were stirring fitfully in their sleep she came inside to stroke their hair and softly sing a song …

tra li, tra la, soft shadows beckon,

in the deepest, secret hollow,

by the moon whose tears are lanterns,

voices calling,

silence falling,  

head under wing, they rise and follow...”

Her presence lingered within that haunted threshold between sleep and waking,  and often the two children would talk quietly among themselves about her visit. If father heard them he became angry. He frowned and said that it was only a dream. Mother was dead. She had left them on a quiet summer’s night while they all slept. The oldest child later said he saw her from the bedroom window walking toward the lagoon in the moonlight.  Her shift was later discovered lying in the gazebo on the bank, but she was never found.  Time had passed and still father could not bring himself to speak of her.

Yet there were times at night when he too felt a gentle touch on his forehead. It whispered through the curtains of his window like the breath of a feathered wing.  It was then he would dream of those days when she lay in his arms in the summer grass as the tumultuous shadows of swans in flight swept over their radiant bodies.

the-lovely-swans2border

(Inspiration thanks to Cougar Sangria and her lovely virtual landscapes)

the-swans-tale2

The Bonny Swans

the bonny swans
The Lagoon, Vancouver Island

Special thanks to Lost Horizons by Cougar Sangria

51 Comments Add yours

  1. Aquileana says:

    So beautiful dear Cybele… it sounds like a mythological tale… well penned… I liked how the different realms or levels of reality get intertwined and the final metamorphose, which simply stands out… sending much love. Aquileana πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So happy you popped by Aquileana! Thank you so much!

      Like

  2. milliethom says:

    A lovely story, Cybele (I’ve already followed the link and commented on the little stories).I do find these kind of stories very moving and not without a certain sadness. Many such stories seem to address the issues of loss and regret and the imagery and emotions they evoke are quite powerful. I really enjoyed listening to Loreena McKennitt, too. She has a lovely voice and the music is beautiful.
    Gorgeous images to accompany your story. They really add to the mysticism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. forgive me for the late response. For me too blogging has taken a back seat these days. I am honoured by your visit and comment. Thank you so much!

      Like

  3. Louise says:

    Lovely mystical work Hannah ! I’m ultra slow on getting into my blogging groove … in and out with long gaps … Good to connect and see your creative work again x Poppy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much Poppy! I’m behind too these days. Good to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Christy B says:

    The swan maidens and I are swooning now at the clever combination of images and words you have shared here xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much Christy- I’m honoured!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Norma says:

    Lovely story with lovely pictures Moon.
    “I have not been inspired….” I hope you are keeping well and there is nothing to worry; however, if it’s just the muse, then don’t worry even I’m trying to find mine as she is hiding somewhere….:) Mischievous one. πŸ˜‰
    Take care! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much Norma!! You too and these muses have a habit of popping back up!

      Like

  6. Beautiful Cybele, magical, both the words and the images.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so happy you like it! Many thanks my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Catherine Blackfeather says:

    lovely. maybe it will grow into a full story

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much Catherine, and for dropping by!!

      Like

  8. I love swans and am so in love with your stories. The images are just breathtaking dune!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just added your name in appreciation! Thank you!!!

      Like

  9. sheldonk2014 says:

    I love this Cyebel
    Your just waiting for the next great push
    Stay focused
    As always Sheldon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks and appreciation for your support Sheldon!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautiful mystery

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much Br. Andrew!! and for the reblog!

      Like

  11. Dagmar says:

    beautiful phrasing, beautiful images.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Amy says:

    Magical! Love so much the process you did through PS! Wonderful tales πŸ˜πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Amy!!

      Like

  13. Mark Simms says:

    Inspiration has that habit of coming and going Cyb……taking a break often helps

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know it! Thanks Mark!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Beautiful, and artistic images Hana! The story is lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so happy you like both Deb!! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Love these images, Cybele!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Debbie!!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Sherry Felix says:

    A beautiful bird for inspiration and shape shifting. I love your interpretations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is indeed. Thanks so much Sherry!

      Like

  17. Marvelous set…the swans are enchanting.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Sue says:

    Wonderful images, Hannah…I love the first one for the mystery it suggests

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much Sue- I hope you liked the story too!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue says:

        Oh, yes!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. big πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sue says:

        😊

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Anita says:

    Ooh a swan maiden story! I love these tales. Your pictures add to the sense of mystery and suspense while we wait for the next chapter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you dear Anita!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Yes, it is tough when you get into a creative slump…just keep playing around with images and something will click sooner or later. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks Robert, the weather sometimes is discouraging and the move was tiring. I need to write more too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are thing of a move…that alone is tiring

        Liked by 1 person

  21. disperser says:

    Interesting, and apt treatment on the photos . . . or apt writing for the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. many thanks for commenting Disperser!

      Like

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