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Celtic Heartbeat

 The stars were shining brightly down on the surrounding landscape. The moon, in all her majestic glory, smiled upon the wonderful scene that lay below her. The waves, coming in off the sea, crashed onto the rocks and sent sprays of water cascading many feet into the air. But what was most noticable was the lack of any natural or unnatural noices. No birds chirped. The insects were quiet. All life seemed to be enjoying the peaceful feeling that had descended upon the land. All life except for one lonely sole, who sat upon the cliffs staring out at the vast expanse of the sea but not noticing anything out there.

 Gawain sat thinking about the life he has lived. Wondering if he could have done anything different to change the way his life has been. Wondering, also, what it was that he was missing. He knew he was lacking something very important but didn't know what it was. He only knew that of all the things he has done in his life, which was alot, that he was lonely and tired.

 He was tired of all the fighting he has done, both on the field of battle and off. He had fought in wars because his country asked him to. He had fought to protect innocent people from harm. He had done all that he could to make the world a better place to live. But he has also been on the other side. The same country he had fought for also thrown him in a prison for a crime he had not committed. He had lost everything that ever meant anything to him, mainly his daughter. He had always wanted to be a father and be able to be there for his children whenever they had need of him.

 But, that wasn't to be. His wife left many years before to be with someone else. And, when she left, she took with her his only daughter. And for more than nine years he hasn't seen her the first time. He always thought about her and wondered what she was like, what she was doing, if she even remembered who her father was. He wanted to be with her more than life itself. But he also knew that the only way he would ever be able to be the father that he wants to be was if something was to happen to his former wife, or if his daughter wasn't brained washed and wanted to see him. Only divine intervention would assure Gawain that he would be able to see his child again.

 And, as he thought about divine intervention, fog and mist began to roll in off the sea and obscure everything in site. Gawain started feeling sleepy as the fog thickened around him. It took only a few short minutes for everything to totally vanish from sight and for Gawain to fall into a deep sleep.

 Gawain woke with a start. Standing there beside him, he saw the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life. She was absolutely radiant. Golden hair flowing down to her feet. Big bright blue eyes and a gown the was simply glowing.

 She stood there watching him taking her all in. " When you are through staring at me, we need to have a little talk. Well I will talk and you will listen."

 Gawain coughed, shook his head and in a croaking voice said, "Ok."

 She laughed out loud, " A man with so many words. Good. That means you want interupt me as I tell you somethings you need to know."

 " Who are you? "

 " I am Athena. I have been watching over you since before you were born. I am your guardian. And everything you have been through has been part of what has been destined for you to do and experience. I have never left your side."

Gawain just sat there at stared at her. ' This must be a dream,' he muttered to himself. Then addressing her, " If you are Athena and my guardian then why have you let things that I care for the most be taken from me?"

 " They have not been taken from you."

 " Yeah, well I do not see my daughter anywhere around here." He thought for a second, " Wait a minute, She is just part of my imagination and I will wake up and she will be here beside me."

 " I see this is going to be harder than I originally thought. Now, listen to me and save all questions you may have until I finish. Do you understand?"

 Gawain thought about it for a few moments. He knew it couldn't hurt to listen to what she had to say. He also knew no one was brave enough to pretend to be a goddess. " Ok, I will listen to what you have to say."

 " Good boy. First let me say that your daughter is alive and well. And when the day comes she will find you. All you need to do is have a little faith, not only in me but in yourself and what you have inside of you. Remember that all things happen for a reason and to try to change what the fates have spun for you will cause everyone alot of harm, including yourself.

 " What I am telling you is to be patient and to live your life the way you should. Do not try to change your destiny. For one day, you will remember the words I am saying to you now. I am going to tell you a few things that maybe I shouldn't but I believe that you need to know.

 " One day you are going to meet someone that will steal your heart and cause you to think of no one else. This woman will cause you to have feelings who have never experienced before. I am not going to tell you that you two will have an easy time. In the beginning, you will find it very hard and difficult to be away from her. But know that it is for the best. For the end result will be a life time of happiness and joy.

 " You will begin to love this woman as you have loved no other person and each day your love for her will grow a hundred fold. Do not be afraid of the feelings you will have for this woman. Just let your heart guide you, and you shall never again feel the hurt and pain you have experienced in the past."

 " My Lady. I have listened to your words and though I do not understand half of what you have told me nor, forgive my rudeness, do I believe them. I have searched the world over looking for the one thing that will make my life complete, and the only time I found happiness was when my daughter was with me. But now she is gone and I am alone.

 " You said I will meet someone. I know now I must be dreaming. But, lets just say I am going to meet someone, how can I be so sure that all will be as you say? You did tell me that the fates had already chosen my destiny."

 " You will know if you will follow what your heart has to say and not what your mind and what you have experienced before guide you."

 Gawain sat staring at the ground trying to absorb what he had just been told. He didn't know whether or not to believe it but he didn't want to just pass it off as just a dream either. Then suddenly he looked up at her. " I am dreaming? "

 " Yes, Gawain. You are dreaming. But, know that what I have told you is also part of your destiny. In just a very short time, you will meet this woman I have told you about and everything I have told you will begin to come back to you but only after you start to experience it. I am going to leave you now, but I will always be close by. When you awake, you will remember nothing of my visit. Sleep now for tomorrow you will begin another journey. "

 As Athena left, Gawain began to go into a deep sleep. The fog and mist that covered the earth began to slip back into the sea. The stars and moon were finally visible and reflected like millions of fire flies off the sea. But all this went unnoticed as Gawain slept peacefully for the first time in many years.

 The rosy fingers of dawn were stretching across the eastern sky as Gawain woke up from a very deep sleep. He stretched and looked around at his surroundings. He shook his head and muttered to himself about sleeping so late. As he got up off the ground, he looked at the sea and all the fog that was just off the beach. He wondered what mysteries the fog held. Maybe one day he will have to check them out, but for now, he knew he needed to get back to town.

 The day progressed like any other day except for the nagging feeling he needed to do something.Everything was the same, the people went about their business like normal, all was as it should be. But Gawain couldn't figure out why he knew he had to be someplace or do something. He looked up at the noonday sun and decided it was time to do something about this feeling of his. So, he went home and packed the few things he owned and left town.

 With no particular place in mind, he took off out of town heading north. The day was warm and sunny and full of hope. The way was easy and Gawain made good time throughout the afternoon and evening. He camped in a little clearing and at first light he was up and on the road again. For nearly a week he traveled, only resting for short periods of time and to sleep.

 On the evening of the sixth day he came upon a small town. He went to the towns nearest inn and got a room. After a good meal and a bath, he went out to explore the town. He was impressed with what he saw. The atmospher was friendly and the people were cordial. Though the feeling that he had never went away, he decided to stay here for a time. But he knew that this place was not his final stop.

 After a good nights sleep, Gawain got up and took off to find work. Luck was with him and he soon landed a job at the general store. Soon he fell into a routine of getting up, going to work and working all day, then going to where he was living for a meal then too his room for rest and sleep. This kept on for over a year. And a year and a half to the day after he arrived he was visited once again in his sleep by Athena.

 " Gawain, wake up. "

 Groggily, Gawain opened his eyes and saw once again the lovely vision he saw on the cliff tops of his former town. He sat up in his bed so that he could give Athena his full attention.

 " I want you to listen carefully to me. In just a few short days, you will meet someone. Listen to what your heart tells you. I am going to tell you that this new love you will find will not be easy. It will take all your willpower to keep from going totally out of your mind. But, just know that all the hard times you will encounter will not be for nothing. For the day will come that all that you went through will be worth it. Do not force what will come. Let it flow from you naturally.

 " All the feelings you have locked up inside of you will be released. Don't resist and whatever you do, don't lose sight of the future. "

 Gawain looked at her in stunned silence for what seemed an eternity. " I will not doubt what you have told me. I will follow your advise. But My Lady, how will I know that this is the right thing to do? "

 " My poor Gawain, You will know in your heart. Just follow it and you will never go wrong. Now sleep my child, for tomorrow will be a very busy day for you and very soon all the hard work will pay off."

 Slowly Gawain fell back to sleep, trying deparately to keep the vision and the words he had been told in his mind. But as before, it was no use.

 The follow morning began as any other morning, with one exception, he was very busy. More so than usual. And so for three days he worked hard and tried to do all that needed to be done. And at the end of the day, he did what he normally did, that was go home, grab a meal and go to his room to rest. But fate had other plans in mind for Gawain.

 As he entered the dining hall to take his meal, he saw someone he had never seen before. She was sitting at a table by herself looking out the window at the streets beyond. For some unknown reason, Gawain felt compelled to go up to her table and talk to her. But he resisted the temptation. He knew he couldn't just go up to a stranger and begin talking. He wasn't shy, just cautious.

 Before he had finished his meal, he looked over to the table where she was and saw her looking at him. She quickly turned away. Gawain smiled to himself. He then heard a tiny voice boom inside his head that told him to go up to her and start talking. Who was he to argue. And he did what he was told to do.

 Gawain got up from his table and went over to the woman. " Excuse me. "

 She looked up at him and smiled, "Yes? "

 " I don't normally do this, but I felt I needed to come over here and talk with you, that is if you don't mind? "

 " I don't mind, please sit down."

 And so for several hours they talked. The next night they met and talked. And so it went for over week, where they met in the evening and talked. Neither one knew what was happening but neither tried to stop it either.

 Gawain felt something he had never felt before and the words of the Goddess came to him, "You will meet someone that will cause you to feel things you never had before." But, Gawain was also scared of his feelings. He had never felt the way he did before. For in the short time he knew Rowan, he knew he had fallen in love with her. He only hoped the feelings were the same.

 He decided to tell her how he felt when they met again that night. When he arrived at was now known as their table, she was there waiting for him. Before he had a chance to say what he wanted too, she spoke up first.

 " Gawain, I have something I need to tell you. I am not sure how to say it but I ask that you let me finish before you say anything. "

 " OK. But after you finish I have something to say to you. "

 " First let me just say that I have really enjoyed that past couple of weeks. I have gotten to know you as you have me. This is very hard for me to say but here it goes. Gawain, I have began to fall in love with you. "

 Gawain sat there just staring at her. He didn't know what to say. For the fear that she didn't feel the same just completely vanished.

 " Gawain? Are you OK? "

 He looked at her, " Yes. I was planning on telling you the same thing myself. But you beat me to it. "

 They sat there looking at one another for a long time. Gawain finally broke the silence, "Rowan, I love you. I have known it for awhile, but I didn't want to except. I also know that since we have met, I have never been happier. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. But I also know that at the moment that will be hard to do. But, as soon as it is possible, I would like for you to marry me, so that together we can have a wonderful life full of love and happiness. "

 " Gawain, I would like nothing better than to spend the rest of my life with you. Was you asking me to marry you? "

 " No. But now I will. " Gawain got up and knelt down. He took her hand, " Rowan, Will you marry me? "

 She didn't even hesitate, " Yes I will. "

 They hugged each other and kissed. For along time that sat there not saying a word, just stared into each others eyes.

 " Now what? " Gawain asked.

 " We do what we can untill the time comes when we can be together for good. It isn't going to be easy for either of us, but just remember that I love you and there is nothing we will not be able to handle. "

 " I know there will be nothing that we want be able to handle. "

 That night as Gawain lay in bed thinking of everything that happened that evening, the words of Athena came flooding into his mind. He thought of all that he remembered of his visits and knew that what she had said has been fulfilled. Gawain also knew that the weeks and months ahead will be very hard, doubts about that strenght of their love will test both his and Rowan's resolve. He knew that he was very deeply in love with her and that he wanted to spend the rest of eternity with her.

 But what will happen now, he didn't know. He was only looking forward to the time where he will never have to be a lonely soul again. Life was just to short not to be happy and to be with someone you are in love with. Gawain knew this to be true. How many times has he seen young men die before they had a chance to live. He didn't want to die before he had a chance to see true happiness and to experience it first hand.

 Gawain knew that all the things in his past has shaped him into the person he now was. With everything he had inside of him waiting to be released, he felt that Rowan was the one and only person that could unlock the gates to his heart. She had already begun to do that and he hoped that he would not drive her off for just wanted to be with her and to began a life he knew that no one else would ever be able to know anything about unless they have felt it first hand. He wanted to make her the happiest woman alive and he knew he would do anything for her that she asked. He would do this because of his love he has for her.

 Gawain was ready to begin a new life with the woman he just met and the thoughts of a very bright future fresh in his mind, he fell asleep with the biggest smile on his face he had ever had. Dreams came naturally to Gawain as he slept that night.

 The next day dawned bright and clear. All was as it should be. The people went about their daily routines. Gawain went to work as he normally did. But underneath it all was a feeling that something was out of place, especially for Gawain. He tried not to let his uneasiness keep him from doing the things he needed to do, but it was just not working. His mind was preoccupied. Everything became clear when Rowan came into the store and asked to speak with Gawain.

 " I have some bad news for you, " Rowan told Gawain as they stepped outside. " I have to leave for a little while. But as soon as I get back, we can be married and live the life we both want. "

 " Where are you going? "

 " I need to go home and take care of some business that is unfinished. I told you about them already. I promise you I will write you everyday. I love you Gawain as I have loved no other person. Please, just trust me. "

 " I could go with you if you want me too, " but the look on her face told him the answer before he had finished. " Well, since you need to do this I will not stand in your way of doing it. I promise I will also write to you every day. " He held her close to him as tears ran down both of their faces. The sadness that was written all over his face also mirrored the sadness he had in his heart. She pulled away then, " I need to go. I will return. " She tried to smile as he did but it was no use. She turned away and got into the coach that was waiting for her. Gawain stared after it as it pulled away carrying his heart with it.

 For over two weeks, Gawain waited for some word from Rowan. But none ever came. He hadn't received a letter from her even though she told him she would write. He did write, everyday. He just didn't know what else to do. A feeling of deja vu swept over Gawain as he remembered a similar situation that happened several years ago. He only hoped that this time would turn out differently.

 Gawain was nearly beside himself when word of advancing troops were seen a couple of miles south. The call had went out that all able bodied men take up arms to defend the town from the advancing war party. Gawain didn't know whether to fight or what, he also knew that he couldn't just leave these people he lived with to die without trying. With one final glace at the store and the life he began to grow accustomed to, he went with the rest of the men to fight.

 The promises he had made to himself and others went with the wind as he took up a sword a headed to the front of the defenders. He felt bad for doing it but under the circumstances he didn't see how he could keep from it. The rage he felt inside him began to build as he stood at the edge of town. He only wished that he would have received a letter from Rowan before all this happened.But thinking about that now could and probably would get him and others killed.

 He could see the army that was headed their way. It was going to be very bloody and many people were going to die. That Gawain was sure of. With luck, they would be able to turn them back. If not all would be dead. The word went out to charge. Gawain was among the men in the lead as the two armies slammed into each other. The sounds of battle were loud and frightening. Young men on both sides fell injured and dying. But Gawain and the rest didn't give up. They fought like they have never fought before.

 The battle raged on all day. The battle was nearly over when Gawain felt a sharp pain in his chest. He fell without a word, but he wasn't dead. Gawain lay there looking up at the evening stars when out of nowhere he heard a voice he had only heard in his dreams.

 Athena appeared before Gawain as she always did. A look of sadness and hurt was evident on her face. She knelt down beside him and took his hands. " Gawain, you are seriously hurt, and I don't know if you will be able to survive. It will depend on how much you want to live. Just know the love you felt was real and though you may feel lonely now you will survive if your will is strong enough. Now sleep. "

 For five days Gawain sleep fitfully before he awoke.When he opened his eyes and looked around the room he was in, he knew then that he was totally alone and even on the brink of death, he was very sad. He closed his eyes then and gave up his spirit to the otherworld.

The End

The Dedication to the Goddess , The Goddess in the Kingdom of Death , To Be A Witch , Tears From Heaven , The Dream , Celtic Heartbeat , The Eve of Widwinter , Because the Goddess and God Love Me , So, You Wanna Be a Witch, Eh? , Can you Imagine?? , If I Had My Life to Live Over , Witch , You , First Yule , Cad Goddeu , Colours
A Letter From Mom And Dad , An Open Letter to a Witch , Banner Links , Blessings , The Charges of the Gods , Crafts , Correspondences , Devotions , Dictionary , Goddess Months , Gods and Goddesses , Herbs , Invocations , Magickal Needs , Meditations , Metaphysical , Miscellanous Items , Oghams , Recipes , Redes and Laws , Rituals , Runes , Sitemap , Spells , Short Stories , Tarot  , Text Links , Webrings , What is Wicca? , What Law Enforcment Agencies Need To Know About Witchcraft

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