Niamh found herself walking through the evening trees and avoiding the path of men. She allowed the west wind to guide her into a clearing. In the center a man stood transfixed, his arms outspread. She recognized him as the one with the staff and flowing cloak who had stood watching on the hillside. Somehow she felt comforted. His shadow was etched in the fold of a moonbeam while leaves from the trees fell like shimmering tears all around him. She knew at once she was inside a sacred circle.
Sensing her presence he turned toward her. His eyes were unseeing but a great luminosity shone from behind their milky glaze. “Can you hear them, child of the mound?” he said, “The spirits of the forest are lamenting.” Niamh was held in a light that she knew could see past the veil of blindness. The timeworn knower of trees bowed his head in sorrowful surrender as he continued. “Great changes have begun. If we forget the language of the ancient ones, the earth will spin out of balance and the sky will be rent in two,” he paused and opened his hand, “but you at least, will not forget.” Niamh looked up as a mighty gust hit the tops of the tallest of the trees, and they bent and swayed in roaring whispers of affirmation. When she looked back to the grove the old magus was gone. Her eighth dream lay on the ground where he had dropped it. At the edge of the thicket a magnificent antlered red deer stopped briefly before leaping off into the shadows.
Niamh picked up the glowing wisp that contained all the magic of a woodland vision and remembered Bran’s words on the shore of the dark isle. She too had surrendered to a strange destiny and she no longer knew if this journey had come to life by her own dreams or if she had come to life through the dream journey of another.
As the light reached the innermost part of the cavern it pierced the stalagmite shard and a single jubilant tone rang through the subterranean halls. The sound shivered through the souls of the waiting listeners. Ixchel, the rainbow goddess was set free from her crystal prison and moved among them and into the world above. The ball game had been won by the hero twins and the gods of Xibalba were again defeated. At each of the four corners of the earth, Ixchel’s four sons would forever hold up the sky vault over the people of the corn.*
For some reason this photo reminded me of my journey along La Ruta Puuc (of the Maya), from Sayil to the Lol Tun caves, when I traveled through the Yucatan two years ago. Sacred to the ancient Maya as portals to the underworld- and as journeys of the soul, the beautiful Cenotes and Caverns had captured my imagination years ago, along with the mysterious Mayans themselves.
I used a tile blur and a lens filter on this crystal rock. We don’t have much sun these days so I was grateful when an errant beam slipped through the window before the rain gods arrived.
*My story background:
Xibalba: the underworld or place of fear
In the beginning of time the hero twins Hunapu and Xbalanque challenged the dark gods to a ball game. The ball game then became part of the sacred ritual of life and death as is evident by the many ball courts and depictions of the game found on all the archaeological sites.
In Mayan myth the first humans were created from corn.
Some of their wonderful mythology can be found in a few surviving codices called the Popol Vu.
(This one looks best viewed in full size on attachment page)
the spaces between
we shadows ( reflecting on the breakwater)
reflections on a silver tide
Dear wordpress friends,
I’ve had an accident which fractured my rib so am a bit laid up and in pain!! There’s nothing to do but wait for healing! I’m so grateful this happened after my trip and before Christmas!! Now I have a good excuse to lie around for awhile and no excuse not to catch up with my writing. The weather is as wet as ducks so photos may be sporadic!! And I have time to practice patience! For a person with my emotional disposition this is like asking a hen not to peck!! Just breathe!!
“The practice of patience guards us against losing our presence of mind. It enables us to remain undisturbed, even when the situation is really difficult. It gives us a certain amount of inner peace, which allows us some self-control, so that we can choose to respond to situations in an appropriate and compassionate manner, rather than being driven by our disturbing emotions.”- The Dalai Lama
Hallow’s Eve is coming ( scary ghost sounds)!! I am still trying to catch up with home, work, and WordPress and I don’t yet have any spooky images at the ready ( who me!!- queen of Goth!) but do visit Ed Mooney and his wonderful Bram Stoker Posts. I know others will post on the Halloween theme as well. I saw Laura Macky‘s spooky house and Leanne Cole‘s full moon on the ever more wonderful Monochrome Madness!!
I’ve been resting beside the road less traveled this last while gathering my thoughts that have scattered like Niamh’s dreams. I hope my friends haven’t forgotten my Tales of the Tuatha!! I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus since another wonderful visit to Ireland and Scotland. Now I’m back home dealing with the challenges of daily life and a distracted and mood disorderly mind that can’t organize the bills at the moment. Things will settle and the muse is stiring!! I promise I will have something soon!! I’ve been working on a few things as I am able.
So please don’t abandon me yet dear readers.
(and thanks to those who asked when I’m going to publish the next chapter here!!)
I’m home, and after a period of mourning for lost green landscapes, old castles, cousins, Irish pubs, the highlands and wild moors (not necessarily in that order) I woke up once more to the beauty of my own allotment of the magical garden.
The golden mist of autumn trundles in off the strait of Juan de Fuca, emptying her swollen pockets of the spawning salmon, great herons and weaving spiders, as she passes over the waters of the cove and into the multi hued trees on the shore.
The days have still been mild and the nights cool but the rains and storms are coming! Wellies and brollies stand ready at the door!! In the meantime I love to get lost in the bright morning mist.
misty morning path
Herons in flight
a lone gull is unveiled in the mist
The jewels of Arachne
vision on the cove
And here is a misty path in both colour and monochrome! Which do you prefer?
and I’ve entered this post into the Daily Post’s Weekly challenge Dreamy on WordPress
and check out my previous posts for my journeys in Scotland and Ireland
I have just returned from another visit to Bonny Scotland and Ireland, and family there . Oh, the light!!! It is truly a photographer’s dream. Here are a few photos (I have a kazillion and more of these two beautiful countries)- but these are of the wonderful town of Old Edinburgh.
What is beautiful to me:
Edinburgh, my love
Scotland’s beautiful light
the story of wee Bobby
I’m not sure if children in North America today read this true story (Greyfriar’s Bobby) but he is known as “our Bobby” in Scotland. He lived in Grefriars, Edinburgh in the mid 1800’s and is an example of poignant loyalty and devotion that surpasses understanding. He is buried next to his owner, “Auld Jock” in the kirkyard.
walking through the streets of Edinburgh (infrared
Princes Street Gardens
Click on the journeys and travelstab on the top menu for more magical views of my Scotland and Ireland!