A Prologue

The moon stood in an almost perfect circle on the firmament. For her, this meant time for ritual. The priestess sighed sometimes she wished there were different ways. Sometimes she wished she could refuse to see.

It was a warm summers’ night despite the light rain that hung over the coast for days. She loved this weather, the rain was not strong enough to permeate the clothes and mist arose steaming from the meadows, floating over the small creek in front of her house. This is the time when the fairies are dancing, her thoughts drifted to the heavy scent of wet soil, dead leaves and moss that filled the air. How she loved the smell of the woods and earth, entwined with the salt of the sea. She took deep breaths and enjoyed the peace, while the wolves howled in the distance. They are howling to the moon, they are praying like me; she thought and sighed. There was change in the air soon, far too soon—but not yet.

Her hut stood in some distance from the settlement. It was close to the sacred place she took take care of at the foot of the mountain range. The mountains silhouetting in the back of her house framed the idyllic place she called her home for a long time now. She was contemplating how much she had enjoyed the years here. What would she be doing? Would the change force her to leave? Should she go back to the green isle? The wolves where still howling, soon, far too soon—but not yet.

She forced the dark thoughts away and tried to focus on the task at hand. Taking in the chilly night air with deep breaths she tried to empty her mind. She had washed face, feet and hands before taking the gifts to the goddess. Fresh milk, oatcakes and some flowers would do during an ordinary summer’s night. When she reached the place close to the waterfall she put the things down on a little altar and poured some of the milk into the water. After she bound her skirts up with a knot Rhiannon stepped into the stream. The cold mud squeezed through her toes, invigorating fresh water around her ankles washed the tiredness away. She pressed her feet deep into the mud. With raised arms the young woman looked like a statue, carved into the landscape for eternity. The moonlight reflecting off her skin, left her seemingly translucent. She stood in stillness the only movement was a gentle breeze in her hair.

The wolves where howling again in an eternal night in an ancient time singing old songs of life, singing old songs of love, singing old songs of war and of hunt.

But they were also singing the song of change, as the earth had told her, change as the water had told her—a necessary change the fire had said. And she sang to the moon and to the wolves the ancient song of life.

Soon far too soon, but not yet.

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