adar dà theine Bhealltainn, which in Scottish Gaelic means, ‘Between two fires of Beltane’. There are many reasons why it is my favourite holiday of the year, none of the least of which it signifies, at least in the land of my mother, the beginning of summer, and it also is the anniversary of my wedding to my husband, le Comte de Rochefort, Sebastien.
The festivities begin at moonrise on the night before May first. This festival metaphysically algins with the Earth’s reproductive energies – all things sexual, all things regarding the regenerative properties of Life itself culminate at this time. The celebrations mark the end of winter and the awakening of all the creatures of the Land into the Bright Half of the year. Even on the Fortunate Island, where we do not know winter, we feel the sap begin to rise and flow forth within the world around us. When the Bale fires are lit, the world raises it’s voice in rejoicing.
It was also at this time that I gave up my maidenhood and entered into the next stage as mother with the conception of my first daughter, Maeve. Though such children conceived at this time and born on or near Imbolc, are blessed as being powerful and blessed by the Great Goddeess Herself, we were not blessed with the happiness of a traditional mother and child. I know that she dwells with her guardian, Nuada, now. She was favoured by the Sidhe, and so I wonder that so much time has passed if she would not either remember me, or care to know of me. It is a wound that I have no idea if it can ever be healed or not. I did what I did to defeat Morgienne – I did what I had to do in order to keep Maeve (and myself) safe.
But when my thoughts turn to Maeve and those times, I quickly turn my thoughts to happier subjects that happened after. Beltane’s promise, fulfilled when looking into the face of my husband, underneath the towering columns of the Temple. That night was wrapped in a blanket of stars, the air heavy with the scent of orchid and jasmine, the voices of the Priest and Priestess intoning the rites of marriage, and I do not believe that neither Sebastien nor I even listened to a single word outside of those that were being spoken within our hearts. In that night, our Souls were bound as One, for a Fae sovereign can marry but once. And for me, he was and is my ‘once’. All other paramours, all other liasons and alliances are of lesser import – even those that are still as yet difficult to let go of. And though I try to explain this, my words fall short of adequate. Few know what such bonds consist of, let alone having experienced them. I know of only one, the other half of this equation, who truly does understand and know. And I know that it is not easy for him, either.
16 responses to “Beltane”
this post didn’t hurt when i made the decision to push the add friend button. gorgeous. maybe it’s something else inside me, but there is response to the piece at this time. thanks for posting it.
We are in a volatile predicament, milady.
She turned at the sound of Athos’ voice, looking into those fathomless blue orbs that she had looked into in the best of times and the worst of times. She knew that he was aware she had been referring to him, more or less. The sharp pinprick of regognition cut across her midsection.
“Yes,” she said softly, nodding, “I have always found that with us, we were ever in a predicament. The questioh is, Athos, what can we do about it?”
“Non, mon Chere. The true question is, what will he do about it. WE are doing quite well, in all of our predicaments, are we not?”
His voice was low, mayhap even mild. The look in his eye was not.
She looked up at her husband and gave him a small smile. “We have always managed to do well in our predicaments, Sebastien, mon amour” she placed her hand over his heart, “I was just remembering our wedding. It’s getting close to that time again.”
“Our wedding time, oui. Shall we go back to the Island and celebrate with your, our people? Or is there perhaps somewhere else you would wish to go?” He ignores all others, for the moment naught exists but his lady, his wife.
“I wish to go home, of course. But not so soon. We have nearly a half a fortnight!”
He stepped away, and bowed low, taking her hand, kissing the knuckles. “Then we shall not go. It is indeed so simple.”
A quick glance to the side, and his eye is upon hers once more. “I however, do have plans to make, and things to do this day. I trust you shall be alright in the mean time, until we shall meet for dinner? Or would you rather I escorted you to your various appointments?” Straightening up, he offered his arm.
Faelyn shakes her head, “Non, mon amour,” she said closing the gap between them and placing her hand upon his offered arm, “I am asking you to stay – please.”
It was a question that Athos couldn’t bring himself to answer. The honorable man sought concord within this friendship while there was a sunless reflection that pledged to be selfish. It was a tear within himself, he feared, that would never meet the other.
“I do not wish to agitate you in any way, Faelyn,” he murmurs softly, his eyes fixed into hers. “What is it that you desire?”
“What I desire for you and I….,” she glanced at Sebastien and kissed his chest, “for all of us is peace.” She shook her head and let lose a long sigh, “I sometimes have felt such a thing between the three of us was hardly possible. Please do not prove me right.”
Athos crosses his arms tightly around his chest while he observes the pair from behind an unreadable gaze. Neither malice or satisfaction reaches the lines of his expression.
“You are aware that I have been exhausting every possibility to reach this achievement. If you have any suggestions, by all means, tell us. It is in my hands no longer.”
“You cannot shut me out of your life any more than I could shut you out of mine,” she glances at her husband and then Athos in turn, “nor could either of you successfully shut the otuer out of your lives. You succeeded in killing each other – you see how well that particular solution worked. There has to be other things to try,”
“Perhaps you should linger awhile longer, Sebastien,” Athos insisted the other man underneath a heavy breath, “it seems your wife wishes you here with us. You will not deny her that, non?” Knuckles clenching white, he has hardly given notice to the creasing dents left in the palm of his hand from his balling fists.
“I want you both to stay,” she said, her voice soft but firm,” Please.” She glances at them both, closes the gap between she and her husband and reaches out a hand to Athos. “We are on the brink of war, once again,” she said, looking at each in turn, “Hsu has seen it and I have seen it first hand. The Watchers mean to destroy all Immortals, not just yours and Hsu’s kind, Athos, but mine, yours too, Sebastien – Caroline, too, even the child I now carry. I know that they will not stop because we are what they fear the most. I beg of you, for all of our sake, our own desires or predjudices aside, we cannot let them win. I’ve seen the experiments they do on our kind, and I can never let them do that to us and ours.”
“I would deny my lady wife nothing musketeer.” At last does the other man turn his head, fully acknowledging his former friend for the first time. “For does she not deserve the very best?”
“Still, it is I who intruded on what was perhaps to be a more intimate conversation between old friends, and thusly was I attempting to be the gentleman and allow you the privacy to continue. Still, if you both urge me stay…” Hearing no objections, he remained where he was, his hand resting on Faelyn’s lower back away from his blade, and hidden from Atho’s view.
At her news the man nods once, decisively. “If they seek their destruction in such manner, then destruction it shall be. Complete and without mercy, for that is how they would treat me and mine.”