A Druid priest named Daly announced to his brethren that there was a blessed and enchanted healing well which was located deep within their fertile and lush valley. A sacred stone cover protected this enchanted healing water well. Daly warned that should the stone be left uncovered a great consequence would befall the land and its people. One long summer day a young Mother from the valley came to the well to fill her jug. Suddenly, she heard the cry of her child. Fearing the child was in danger, she ran to him. She had in haste, forgotten the warning of Daly and not replaced the stone cover on the sacred well. Within seconds of her departure and with great speed the well began to overflow with water and began to gush throughout the valley. The people realized that before their very eyes the valley itself was transforming. Waves were quickly replacing the landscape which moments before held an abundance of both flora and fauna. Citizens climbed up to the highlands for safety. Once safe, they looked down at the water and said in their native tongue, "Tha loch' nis ann" (which is pronounced loch neesh) which translated means, "There is a lake there now."
This has been an amazing week. Finally, I was able to see through my human eyes rather than the "eyes of the imagination" the ancestral home of Aurora of Inverness-shire and her daughter, Alinda. The journey to Loch Ness has been one of the greatest gifts I have ever received from my husband, Paul. Finding out that Oonagh (co-author of our book) would be there at the same time visiting her Mum and her brother and sister-in-law, made this adventure even more enchanting. As Oonagh and I wrote the tale of Sleeping Beauty's daughter set in her home of Scotland, I knew it would look and feel exactly as it did. I was right.
The highlands of Scotland I have discovered this week are both mysterious and magical. After telling a guide a Urquhart castle the story of Alinda, he excitedly responded, "Oh, she must exist, only in a parallel universe." I both laughed and smiled at the truth within his comment. That universe does exist. It has existed in the minds of Oonagh and I...and it has been incredible accessing it.
Tale of the Saint and the King of Urquhart Castle
A robust holy man named Columba was often to be found journeying by boat between holy Ireland (the land of his birth) and enchanted Scotland (the land of his soul). Many a time St. Columba would be found to have traveled from nation to nation sharing the good news of his beloved God-man.
During one of his trips to sacred Scotland he was lead to a great and good King. This King had built a fine castle on a rocky outcop where many magic stories had been said to have occurred. The name of his stonghold would come to be known as Urquart Castle of Loch Ness. The king was Brude the Brave and True. This good and just King had been told through predictions, that his land would be visited by a holy man bearing good news. The people and King knew at once the prophecy was completed by their meetings with this strange and holy man, Columba.
King Brude and his people loved to listen to the stories told of the gentle God-man by Columba and his good brothers. The stories resonated with the people as enchantment and interaction with the unnseen was commonplace for those who lived in the land of miracles. They understood the beauty and unending power of a God force inside the body of a man. Again, it was easy for them to believe as they had the gift of unending faith.
King Brude would often entertain Saint Columba and his friends. They stopped and visited when on an adventure to share stories of their God. As the Loch and Valley had hosted many holy missionaries who traveled through it, the name of the area was often known as the "Valley of the Saints."
A story of Saint Columba regarding the power of the enchantment of His God of Light was often told by the Pictish King Brude and his people. It seems one night in Urquart castle, a grand cross appeared on a carved pagan monument. The cross shone so bright upon the symbols of the old faith that all who witnessed this enchantment became followers of the God of Columba, including King Brude. The people and their King chose to weave the new symbol and faith as it complemented all that was good and true within the beauty of their old beliefs. The King and kingdom from that day forward had peace, abundance and an enduring power that made magic and miracles as natural as the air of the highlands and unending strength of the hills.
During a trip down Loch Ness, Saint Columba was told of a great sea monster who was causing the fear of death or damage to those trying to carve a living from the land and loch. Saint Columba was told that a man had been bitten by the sea monster and had died from his wound. After attending his burial, Columba was told that another man was in the lake and was in danger of succumbing to the same fate. The Saint went to the loch and demanded that the creature change his evil ways and no longer seek humans for sport, as he was causing them to die. The monster hearing the voice of the saint and feeling remorse for his deeds, never again harmed another daughter of Eve or son of Adam.
The journey of this blog is to share the adventures of the new Scottish fairy tale written by two teachers about the story of Sleeping Beauty's daughter.
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