As the sun sets on Dohman’s unfolding miracle, there are others experiencing their own touch of Spirit as each will be called to join the family in The Garden; for within the world of illusion, each must play their part….
Forever Never/The Dawn of Illusion
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When we left the family in the garden, the firstborn human child had arrived safely with the help of the two females who had only recently joined them, bringing with them tales of sorrow and words of hope. The one who came on foot was a lovely herbal master and the other-well, her identity was ever changing as she moved upon their world.
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Mor absorbed all these things and reveled in the new sensations. Perhaps there was hope for this experiment after all. Great Spirit did not desire to return to singularity; and yet It was beginning to suffer along with Its Creations, feeling all they felt and knowing all they knew. Such was It’s dilemma and therefore felt a tremendous hope in love for this new life upon Inion’s world.
Fireann was the first to emerge from the dwelling, nearing mid-morning. Naofa and Eagna had been busily preparing something to strengthen the new mother when the male leaned against the doorway, yawned and stretched, and looked not just a bit undone. “This little one has a huge appetite,” he announced. “He suckled all night long so that M’na could scarcely sleep, but they are both resting now. How will we be able to thank you for all you have done in coming here?” His smile was infectious and his words gentle, sincere and full with the tremendous gratitude he felt in his heart. Both females were honored to be in his presence, this first Father of Dohman.
Then they sat, encircling the embers where the fire had burned the previous night, and held counsel on many things. It was agreed they all had experienced a richer view of the true nature of Creation, especially Fireann. The fullness he felt at bringing life into his world, even through M’na, was nearly overwhelming. It caused him to love his own Mother Bandia even more and to understand what it was that brought his mate to desire her own hand in creation even though it had seemed such a painful experience for her. He marveled that she truly seemed to forget her night’s torment even as the infant child took its first drink, and felt her peace as she gazed at its upturned face.
Stoking the fire, Naofa tossed in some herbs which filled the morning air around them; and they sat, meditating together and offering prayers to the Eternal Realm to bless the First Family, strengthening their walk.
Bandia remained close to her children throughout the night, watching and trusting in those to whom she had given much responsibility. Now she appeared to them through the morning mists, although her form seemed like a whisper. Their forms were quite clear to the goddess, and yet they seemed oblivious to her presence at first. They would later recall that the vision of their Mother was pale, as though seeing her through a haze. Naofa remarked the image was like the mists that often floated over the great dark waters of her home. Bandia’s form had ill-defined edges; yet as much as she focused her energy, she could not produce the distinction that once was possible on her world. There was no difficulty hearing her voice, however, and Bandia assured them of her constant presence. She had seen them working throughout the night and was so very pleased with the bonds that had begun, all in the name of Love. When she finally spoke, it was as though they heard her voice calling from a great distance..
“My children, I am very pleased with all of you. In Unconditional Love was this child delivered, and in the light of continuous love shall he grow. Your Creators are here to guide you in all ways, always. Never let the child forget his origins nor allow him to feel alone, for none of you is ever alone. At this moment Spiorad Mor and all of Eternity is smiling on Domhan. No greater love is known. We continue to exist on Dohman because of your recognition.” The goddess’s voice grew fainter still as she added, “Remember us…”
With her final words, Bandia’s voice faded slowly into the mists of morning whispers. It would be the last time she would appear to them in her Spirit form. Something was happening on this world, something which had suddenly accelerated. A new human consciousness had joined the energy there, and with it something in the connection to the ethereal had been diminished. Bandia knew she must find alternate ways now to speak to the sons and daughters of Eternity.
In the cycles that followed, the new family grew close, forming lasting bonds. It would soon be time for the sanctification.
Her Mother’s words rang in Eagna’s ears. “Be as my voice when they can no longer hear me.” But how was she to do this, she wondered. Even in the face of her uncertainty, she felt there would always be a way. It had been the Mothers’ promise to all of life on Dohman.
It was now time for dedication of the child to Spirit. As Naofa worked busily to arrange things for the ceremony, she gazed up from her preparations when she caught a glimmer of movement on the horizon. In the bright light of the mid-morning sun it was hard to be certain, but she shielded her eyes with one hand to see more clearly. Yes, it was certain now-there was, indeed, someone approaching The Garden.
XXXIV The Hunter’s Dream
Since his visit to the Garden, Eolas had pondered many things as he developed a fondness for the couple who resided there. The female, strong and mystical with her gift of shape shifting, clearly walked in step with Spirit and Light. The male, Fireann, likewise walked in perfect step with his companion, much as the leaf on the wind or as a fish in the flow of the stream. He felt an inner sadness when he looked at them together, for it sparked his own awareness of being alone. Eolas knew that if Eternity had a plan for him to know a companion some day, It would be so.
As if on cue, a vision formed in his mind, of the Female of Wisdom, standing before him as she turned to leave and continue on to the Garden, with her tunic lifting slightly in the morning breezes as loose strands of her hair curled around her chin where they escaped the twine she used to tie them back. The previous night they had sat near the small fire he lit for cooking their evening meal and talked until the moon rose high, speaking of what was to come and of their respective roles in the lives of those who lived in The Garden. Both had been enlightened to this miracle and what it would mean for all other humans to come, but not much had been said of what each was to do beyond the miracle itself.
Perhaps the Creators wanted them to figure it out as a test of worthiness, he reasoned to the female. She responded, “Or, perhaps even they do not yet know.” Before this lovely creature had ventured into his world, he knew only survival.
His days were spent in building his dwelling, and gathering and hunting in preparation for his visit to the couple in the Garden. He was given instruction to make small covers from tree fiber and prepare them as gifts for the coming child. There were tools to be made that would be gifts to the male living in the garden, things which Fireann previously had no knowledge or need of. The Father of the miracle had not questioned Eolas; for he seemed to understand the value of knowing many things, even those which did not serve oneself immediately.
Eolas had long been collecting discarded feathers from the birds that lived in the forests near his home. When he had many, he carefully fastened them to dried strips of animal hide. The finished piece made a marvelous cover for his head, something he had envisioned in his mind for the day of sanctification and celebration which he knew would follow the child’s birth.
After Eagna made her appearance and they counseled, he knew it was time for making final preparations and bundling his gifts for the journey. Eolas wrapped a collection of fruits, nuts and herbs which were native to his lands inside a soft animal hide and tied the folded bundle with vine. He smoked fish, caught by his own hand, and these he rolled in large, fresh leaves, again stowing them inside an animal skin. These bundled treasures were ready now to take with him to the Garden.
Eolas knew the birth was upon them and that it would soon be necessary to move toward Foirfeachta. At night he sat in the stillness of his homeland, deeply in meditation, asking for guidance and protection on his journey and for the wisdom to counsel his new friends in the way of Spirit and kinship. His mighty heart was full and his mind ready as he finally closed his eyes and succumbed to sleep beneath the full moon.
Soon his deep sleep brought a dream. In this dream, the Hunter was just waking to the light of a new dawn. The sky above him was richly colored and there were streams of light from the rising sun drawing patterns in the retreating shadows of night. As he looked at the horizon, a dark shape appeared, seeming so great as to block the new light of morning. It moved towards Eolas causing his heart to beat wildly within his chest. As the dark form moved closer to the place where he lay upon the grass, it began to descend, taking on a more distinct form, as it came from the bright dawn to stand before him and perched itself upon a great gray stone. It was a bird! Yes, indeed a bird, but not one that he had ever seen on Dohman.
It was completely unique and yet it seemed to embody all birds he had ever known. Here they all stood before him now, manifest as one collective bird. The feathers that draped its body were many colored, and Eolas thought how they looked like the headdress he’d created. The creature before him had sharp talons, and they flexed as it sought a stable position. Those talons were black as coals but glinted like moonlight on the dark river. The sleepy Hunter was transfixed as his eyes traveled up the creature’s sleek form and fell upon its eyes which opened as soon as he rested his vision there. How they blinded him! He had to cover his face, for it was as if he were looking into endless suns.
“I’m sorry,” the bird spoke in a thunderous voice, “I will try to shield the Light from your human eyes.” As it closed its eyes partially, the Light became bearable. The voice thundered again, “I am Mac, your Father.” But the Hunter already sensed the identity of his guest even before it was revealed. His heart danced within his chest as the magnificent bird continued. “Eolas, our son, you have done well in all the tasks which were placed before you. You are as great in Spirit as in form. It is with love and gratitude that I come to you this new dawn. Now is the moment for the miracle to arrive in The Garden. Beneath the moon of your last cycle, the first human child to be born within the physical realm is arriving in the dwelling which you and Fireann built with your own hands. The female there has labored long and suffered in this birth; but she will soon forget the pain as she is filled with the love of a Creator. You must go now to your new friends and deliver your gifts of welcome.”
Eolas wanted to speak to his Creator but could not find his voice. It was as though he inhabited another body as he looked upon the creature with awed respect. The bird continued its message as the edges of its form began to blur. “On your journey you will meet Laoch the Warrior, and therefore you will not be alone when you reach the edge of the Garden.”
Mac could sense Eolas’ anxiety for his new friends and their overwhelming responsibility, and the Spirit bird reassured his son. “Do not fear for the Garden couple. Already there are others with them to help see the child safely into its new life. Before you wake to the sunrise it will have breathed its first breath and known its first meal.” A great wave of relief rolled over Eolas, washing his fears away.
Spreading its expansive wings, the creature gave a final word to the Hunter, “When you awake, you must prepare your things, then go to the land of Laoch, the Cliff Dweller. Together you will continue on to the Garden where you will join the celebration. Remember, Eolas, you are my son and we are always with you.”
Before Eolas could find his voice to offer thanks, there came the sound of countless birds taking flight as the magnificent creature lifted from its stone perch and took wing in the direction of the rising sun as it made its way back to the eternal realm. Before disappearing into the red glow of morning, It turned to Eolas once more, opening wide its eyes, to reveal the blinding light once more. Eolas raised his hands to shield his face from the brilliance; and when he brought them down again, he found himself waking from his dream to the bright light of the new morning sun shining warmly upon his dark skin. He arose immediately and began to ready himself, preparing his gifts and supplies to take with him on his journey to the land of Laoch.
Inspired by his dream, he donned his newly-made feathered headdress. Next, he decorated his face and arms with the juice of the wild berries. This would be his sign of celebration and welcome for the new human child. After dousing the remains of the night’s fire, he struck out in the mid-morning light. The trip to the Garden was already a fair distance, but he had to collect this Laoch first. Eolas wondered if the warrior had experienced a similar vision as his own and was hoping he had. There would be less explanation needed that way. Somewhere hidden in his being, he felt an excitement at the thought of seeing Eagna again, knowing she was already with the couple. Eagna and the strangely beautiful white tiger….