After receiving the blessing and gift of awakening from the Creators, the inhabitants of Foirfeachta and their guests knew a beginning. Glorious sensations entered their world. along with new possibilities..perhaps not all for the good of humankind.
Eagna awakened slowly, her body relaxed and her mind numb. She was so excited by the blessing of her mothers; and so long into the night had she and Eolas loved one another, whispering their hopes for the new life being given to them, that she had not fallen asleep until just before sunrise. As she pushed the cobwebs from her mind and squinted into the light filtering through the window, she vaguely recalled a dream from her deep sleep. Slowly it filtered into her consciousness, its cruel revelations clouding her early morning peace. Her heart wanted to turn from its ugly face but her sensibility forced her to retrace its dark footprints. Closer and closer she crept within, her mind becoming more aroused as the pieces fell into place, the dream that was in truth a nightmare!
As she peered into the mists of remembrance, Eagna saw herself cradling a bundle in her arms, a precious treasure she was about to lay within the bed Eolas made for their new infant. Softly she cooed to the wriggling bundle, joy filling her soul. Suddenly, an invisible someone-some thing-snatched the treasure from her hands before she could protest. But no one was there! Crying out in anguish, Eagna ran to the window, her eyes searching for a sign of the thief, her heart already mourning the loss of her treasure. The new mother was not prepared for what she saw. The creature moving before her did not walk or run, rather it seemed to flow over the ground, appearing as a murky, dark, spiny river that breathed. It began to rise from the ground, showing its enormity and cloaked in a color most unpleasant-a green gray like the dank forest floor. When it reached its full height, towering into the starless dark, it spread leathery wings and lifted itself skyward, stirring dust and debris from the ground as it went up and up. Eagna spotted the bundle it carried in its sharp talons and opened her mouth to cry mercy. The words never passed through her lips though her mouth fell open, gaping in paralyzed horror as the Bird-Beast took the bundle that was her treasure and opened its massive jaws, devouring its prize in one lusty gulp. In that moment its teeth glinted in the moonlight and she knew how sharp they must be. The horror climbed up her spine as pain wrapped itself around her heart. Through blurry, tear-filled eyes she watched as the beast left with her joy; then it turned to look back at her, smiling a wide, remorseless grin. It blinked and shards of pain struck Eagna’s eyes, for this was as bright as the Light of Eternity. She could scarcely look into them! With another blink they were again black as the night it came from. Frozen by fear, her eyes traced its fading form as it winged its way across the sky, leaving a trail of smoldering embers that flickered like cruel red stars. Eagna felt an emptiness envelope her heart, an emptiness beyond compare.
Rubbing her arms briskly as if to erase the chill of terror from her skin, she pushed her hair from her face and breathed deeply as she allowed the truth of blessed morning to fill her with the peace of awakening from such a dream. And it was only a dream…
After a few moments of clearing her mind, Eagna turned over to face her companion as he stirred from his own deep sleep; and she gently brushed her fingertips over his brow. Eolas opened heavy eyelids and smiled appreciatively at her. Then he turned his body to face his love, placing his hand on her stomach; and she forgot the night visions that had invaded her slumber. He kissed her mouth tenderly, reminding her of the night they shared, and they would have repeated their actions if not for the voice that drifted through the window.
“Good Morning!” came the call of Domhan’s first Mother, sounding cheerfully inquisitive.
“We are awake,” Eagna called back. “I’m on my way out!” Reluctantly she rose from the bed and slipped her tunic over her head. Eolas reached up to grasp her fingers as she turned to go. Smiling at his look of disappointment, she pulled away and stepped into the early morning light.
M’na was there with an amused, knowing smile on her face. After a quick hug, M’na touched Eagna’s cheek; and seeing her friend’s flushed cheeks and bright eyes, she nodded her approval. Eagna blushed crimson but M’na squeezed her hand. “It was the same with Fireann and me. Not much sleep, was there?” Eagna shook her head and and they both laughed. This brought a new luster to the kinship between them. They held hands as they made their way to the clearing; but Naofa was already there, stirring the ashes so that a tall flame was already hungrily teasing the morning air.
M’na brought bark to boil for tea as Eagna gathered fresh fruits from the vine. There was more than enough to eat, but neither female was hungry yet, with so much on their minds and hearts. It would be the males who would be ravenous for anything there was to eat.
Fireann stirred when he smelled the tea boiling and was the first to appear through his doorway, stretching and rubbing his eyes. He and M’na had seen each other with new awakening; and they fed their fierce hunger beneath night’s starlit canopy . Even though she had already received her gift of new life, they had been stirred again, more deeply yet. Something in the fruit of the tree of Knowledge had opened the gates of desire in them, igniting a fire that needed quenching.
(None realized this open gate would prove both a gift and a curse that would plague humankind for as long as it continued to exist.)
Fireann went to M’na and unabashedly planted a kiss on her full lips and she returned it with enthusiasm. Eagna lowered her eyes, embarrassed for what she felt stirring in herself, even as a smile played at the corners of her mouth.
“Good morning.” It was Eolas who now appeared in the clearing, looking fully invigorated. “Did you all sleep well?” he inquired, feigning a casual tone. He, being more shy by nature than Fireann, simply placed an arm around Eagna’s waist. This familiar gesture brought a smile to his companion’s lips. They all nodded and agreed that it was a peaceful night, although it was not the complete truth for all. Eagna kept the details of the nightmare to herself, pushing it into the recesses of her thoughts. The shunned vision found a quiet, dark corner of her mind to hide in, for that which is not looked upon creates no fear in the daylight. Naofa had already banished hers to quiet submission.
“Good friends, it is nice to see you all smiles this morning!” Naofa displayed an air of cheer as she gestured for them to all have a place in the circle. They took their familiar places; but their circle was now filled with a new air of intimacy. As she gazed at each one in the group, the Sorceress added, “And the only missing piece to this glorious morning is our young Amh..oh! There he is now.”
A shuffling sound turned all eyes to the doorway of M’na and Fireann’s dwelling, where young Amhain was just emerging, his unruly locks of dark hair curling around his face, his eyes glistening brighter than stars..
‘How he looks like his Father,’ thought M’na as she unconsciously squeezed Fireann’s hand. But when Amhain looked into his Father’s eyes, Fireann saw the essence of M’na. He knew his companion truly was the heart and soul of the young male.
“Our M’na has thought of a perfect plan for keeping our remembrance of the Eternal Realm alive on Domhan. I know that in the shadow of the brilliance that our Mothers presented to us by their presence, such a prospect as forgetting the true nature of Great Spirit may seem absurd. But no one here today can deny the strong influence of our physical minds over our thoughts and actions. We are distracted more now than ever before. And… with the veil grown heavy and threatening to become heavier still as life increases upon our world, we must make certain to keep the door to Eternal Spirit open within each of our souls. We must keep a clear pathway open for communication, for communion and…” (she had to choose her words carefully in order to conceal her concerns over the visions that had plagued her dreams), “…and seeking out and accepting their help if ever the need should arise. We must be able to hear the voice of Spirit, the thought of reason and comfort, to hear the words of Wisdom from our Creators in times of need. It will require a..finer way of..of hearing and of understanding.”
Naofa’s voice was slower, less commanding than usual, and she stalled briefly; but none seemed to notice her lack of usual self-assurance. None but Eagna, for she heard every single word and felt every tremor in the Sorceress’s voice. She would wait for the right moment to share her dream with Naofa. Eagna knew that if anyone could explain its meaning, it would surely be the Sorceress.
If only they had sought each other out, if they would have shared their dreams and tried to understand the meaning behind them. Perhaps the unfolding may have gone differently. But the day wore on without their finding the time or the inclination again, both being too full of the excitement for the new and brightly lit things of their world. They began a morning meditation which would become a ritual for each of them. It gave their days meaning and their hearts ease from the loneliness of the separation that grew in the absence of the physical presence of their Eternal Mothers. They constantly looked to the skies for the special birds, the sure sign that was the promise of the Creators’ watchful guidance and companionship.
Naofa stayed on in the Garden awhile longer, continuing to help M’na and Fireann while keeping a silent vigil for any sign of dark interference. Although the feeling of immediate threat she sensed was waning, she still felt this was more than a mere dream. When nothing unusual happened, she decided it was time to return to her own home, but by way of their cliff dwelling friend.
Eagna and Eolas, who had also remained in the Garden, offered to accompany the Sorceress on her journey to the Warrior’s home, so that together they could share the miracle which was now upon them. None of them wanted Laoch to feel slighted at having been excluded from recent events. They, too, knew they must be getting back to their home and make preparations for the coming life that would join them.
Loaded with supplies and gifts from the Garden, the little band set out for the land of Laoch among the Cliffs, while those in the Realm looked on.
“Mother Inion, our children are doing well in our absence, don’t you think?” inquired Bandia furtively. Inion was silent for a moment. Then she replied thoughtfully, “I have no doubt that their hearts and souls are connected to Spirit in this moment. We hear their meditations and know their soul’s desire and heart’s intent. What remains unknown is whether or not they will be able to hear and understand when the moment arrives for us to be heard. Only the passing cycles on the world of Domhan would reveal what would come of the new order of control the humans had been given. The Creators were eager to see what these children would make of their creation.
Mor had seen the visions and dreams of Its Lenai and understood the thread of possibility weaving its way into the consciousness of humankind, eternally altering the paths for all living things. But they were yet only potential paths. Great Spirit would watch and see how this new world of Creators would develop. It was more concerned about the wisdom of Eternity’s Creators in responding to Ar’tine’s act of deception with one of their own devising. How does one teach a child to be ever truthful while involving it in a great lie, even one that is thought to be for the good of the All?
to be continued……
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