Sélená led me along the lake bed ~ and really it was more lake than pond ~ which was really rather strange to walk the underwater grange, to somehow have breath here without death. Our heads emerged, though, and instinctively I surged forward toward the shore as if I’d live no more for long in watery abode, where such men do not belong. She chuckled, grabbed and buckled me over, and what was I to do but truckle; she was much stronger. “You just walked comfortably under water, and could swim comparably to any fish! And now you wish for land and demand solid ground upon which to pound your feet? You’re nearly complete in fear, my dear!”
Nevertheless, we reached the shore and then did I have something more to see: The orphanage had grown, gardens sown, and many hovels made of stone. “Now this is practically a village,” I exclaimed. “Yes, enough to pillage and plunder, Kelebek; and is it any wonder? Over the years, fears and tears have driven dozens, who have striven to be born again, now torn from the world left behind. Bereft of almost any goods, save hope, they’ve clung to the sturdy rope of Caillína. And you see now she has raised great steeple for the people.” Indeed, and it was equal to that of any cathedral, though unadorned; still it glistened brightly in the morn, and somehow seemed to warn of great power towering ore the villa.
True, too, many had come to this place of grace — how many, I cannot say, but they appeared to be well-stayed — and there was an unpretentious, humble beauty with nothing contentious. Peace and serenity seemed to flow with ease in the ever-gentle breeze, enough to please the most disquieted soul … my soul. “This is like an effervescent bowl of divine wine, a veritable celestial shrine, yet terrestrial nonetheless!” At that moment of my potent enthusiasm, Caillína strode down toward the shore of the bitty town, and I thought I’d drown in admiration for the woman she’d become. Sélená laughed. “Aye, she is quite handsome, is she not? But she can be bought for no price, believe me, even if thrice offered the whole world.”
“Good, then she is, in fact, great and will take no bait!” Proudly I loudly intoned. “And look there; I dare say that is Fáelána and Suíbhnæ up on high hillock!” Sélená nodded. “And still fine, supple and strong; sturdy spine and backbone, with stone determination, yet kind and gentle as they mind their folk. Here it is known Fáelána is sí–fireanna and Caillína, as well, but tell me, how would they fair in your society’s lair? I do dare say zealots would swear at their oddity and lay religious snares. Aye, there are those even in this time and clime who would sever their testicles for them ever to be women only and think themselves quit clever!”
Some confusion with profusion of thoughts, but Sélená was right, of course, but in my sight I saw only glorious majesty … in all three. “Yes, of course, for each of the three, like one majestic tree,” Sélená answered my unspoken words she nevertheless heard. “Fáelána, Suíbhnæ, and Caillína are called by the people ‘onórach,’ more venerable than yon steeple; however, Fáelána and Caillína are considered ‘sanctaidd,’ holy, forever blessed and possessed of the Spirit of Dyēus.” She paused as I thought and fought to comprehend the latitude of the people’s gratitude and their most reverent attitude. “The oppressed and repressed, cheated and mistreated, beaten and half-eaten are often more caring and forbearing. Many times they also see and understand what most people misunderstand.”
With this my soul could somewhat relate; I’d never been the victim of hate, yet cut off and shut out by family and friends for no more than politics and religion, ideology and questioning my competence. Yes, my heart knew hurt: Sisters and brother who never bothered with any of my dreams or visionary schemes; sinister ministers, prisoners to their own doctrinal poison, who’d heisted the Christ and priced salvation; bosses full of dross who’d never tossed me the chance to advance; schools of impersonal, mechanistic learning tools… “Of course, you’re now feeling some remorse over the course of your life thus far, but remember I’ve told you, ‘be bold! and keep hold of your senses.’ Your story is still being written, even now; you’ve been bitten by destiny, my love!”