During certain moments of her life, the elderly woman would often leave her village, Auldearn, and seek solace in a wooded area near the River Nairn. The trees and the streams spoke to her, and the night skies often gave her hope when all hope, it seemed, had fled. And tonight, she needed hope. She needed a vision. The elderly woman sat on a blanket on the ground and shivered in the night air. Isla was grateful for the small fire, for the fall evening was cool, but soon, the blaze would chase the autumn chill.
Isla stood and moved around the fire, slowly at first, but the blaze from the fire seemed to draw her into a rhythm of its own, and her movements quickened. The woodsy smoke embraced her, and she moved in step with its shadowy figure. Her mind raced, and flashes and images of the people she loved and lost shimmered before her. A husband’s last stand in battle. Her mother’s final moment in childbirth. Her father’s last breath on his deathbed. A son drowned in the River Nairn. A favorite sister married and far removed from her homeland. But the vision of her daughter, Mairi, made her drop to her knees, and the old woman wailed. And when she could lament no longer, she softly whispered, “Mairi” over and over until her soft words sounded like a plea, a supplication, a petition to right the wrongs committed against her child. And hope, she knew, would flee on this dark night. It had been a stranger for far too long. Isla felt lost and alone; sorrowfully, the woman hung her head and softly wept. She grieved for all she lost and mourned for all she loved.
Dreams. But on this particular night, they spot something … interesting.
Photo by Sumit Saharkar on Unsplash