The days are long, the tasks are many, and I find myself rising early and going to sleep late…and dreaming. At first I am too physically tired to even try to remember my dreams, but one night I awake in a panic. I must pay attention to these dreams, which I know I have before. I get up and walk to the table, take a drink from a cup of water, return to my bed trying to relax and return to the land of dreams. This takes some time, but finally I feel my body floating and know I am in a suspended trance.
Walking along a beautiful white sandy beach I see the intensely blue sky overhead and green trees growing almost to the surf line. Above the trees are more forests and beyond the hills and mountains. There does not seem to be anyone about. In spite of being alone, the freshness of the breeze, the sweet smell of the sea water and the tantalizing fragrance of the pine trees wrap me in a soft protective blanket. There are no worries here, no work, no lessons… A large lack bird flies over my head and toward an opening in the trees, cawing to me to follow. The bird flies over again when I do not move, and the again until I walk toward the path the bird has shown me. It is cool under the trees…A real contrast to the warmth of the sand. Still the bird flies ahead as I follow. Approaching a small open glen filled with multicolored wild flowers and sweet-smelling grasses, I see the bird perched on the highest branch of a colorful bush unknown to me. I take several steps back, heeding the warning. These flowers may be beautiful, but I surmise they may be poison. “Thank you for the warning, my feathered friend,” I say, looking toward the bird. He caws again and flies into another grove of trees. Again I follow. I lose the bird as I climb a steeper path. The trees are closer together here and it becomes quite dark. Stumbling, I fall to the ground. Lifting my eyes I see Manton hanging from a tree. “Oh Goddess, what has happened to Manton?” I put my hand on Manton”s leg, but his body is cold. “Noooo! Nooo!”
ZARDA is Book 1 in the Journey series. It is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Book Baby as a paperback or ebook.
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Reentering the village center, I find it alive with people, mostly women. They are talking, laughing, sharing stories at the well, mending, chasing children or mixing dough for bread. I smile. They nod back. Passing by them I disappear into the guest house near the east side of the town.
Oh, it feels good to be alone again. There have been so many new experiences I am unable to assimilate them all. I must rest and try to listen to my inner spirit and see what I am to do. It is rather alarming to feel my body’s reaction to Manton. How can I be so strongly drawn to a stranger? Is he a stranger? Perhaps we met in another life? He makes me feel more alive than anyone ever before. Is this love? Rhiannon had spoken of love. “You cannot force love. You must let love come to you…” I was taken unawares by Manton. I quiver remembering his touch…his kiss.
ZARDA is Book 1 in the Journey series. It is available to buy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and BookBaby as a paperback or ebook.
Thanks for reading!
Today is the final day of my Woman Rites. For Nineteen life years I have followed the tradition of the Goddess Nede, my family, and the Temple preparing for my woman’s journey. Each new life year since I was nine, Morrigan, our Priestess, has given me a task to learn, practice and share at the Temple. First I helped the Temple teachers with the young ones. Then Morrigan took into the woods and fields to recognize and gather herbs and wild plants used for healing. I have become an above average horsewoman, become proficient with the bow, sword, and hand to hand combat under the tutelage of my father King Hector. In the Temple kitchen I worked long days preparing nourishing meals. Morrigan instructed me in prayer rituals, winemaking, dress, bathing, housekeeping, fire, and sacred sex. My favorite, though, was being trained as a Temple dancer. What joy there is in rhythmic movement. These last two moons I have fasted, chanted, meditated, danced, and found my silent times. I feel clear, strong, and full of the Goddess spirit. This is the culmination of my life’s preparation under Morrigan, my teacher, Rhiannon, my mother, and my father, Hector. Soon my journey toward womanhood will begin. I will travel beyong these familiar walls…………….
ZARDA is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Book Baby as an ebook or paper back.