The three girls danced for what seemed like hours, then, without warning, the colorful lights and her companions disappeared. As the music too began to fade, Petra heard the sounds of singing. Turning, she watched as a teen girl slowly materialized. The lass was swaying to the music and singing a song.
"...The people of God He has redeem'd Satan is bound, There's no time it seems. The Lord hath gathered all things in one, And brought down Zion from above." She was singing "Zion", written by JJ Dewey, but stopped in the middle when she realized that Petra could now see her. "Had I known ye were all t' dance, I'd have come sooner.", the girl announced with a strong Irish accent.
"Colleen!" Petra recalled her name, without the least hesitation.
"Aye, 'tis me, and that is still the voice of my mother calling me", the lass replied.
"'Twas ye who taught me the Priestess craft. We Celts had the True Spirituality.
Before the Viking, before the Roman
Law giver, just right, owning nothing, owned by all.
Not feared, respected. Walking safe in the night.
Seer, silent, knowing when to speak,
how to give the Law it's course, it's path to abiding peace.
Trees not single or separate, knowing the break of the branch in the forest
as the break of the breath in my body.
Forest powerful in it's own right, not dependent.
Forest at one with those of this land breathing one breath in understanding."
"You, mother and teacher, told us the Shadow men were coming, but also asked us to accept them. Many of our clansmen thought you betrayed them. The Incomers do not share, attempt to take over. The child fears the Shadow People of the out-breath and sees the lies in their bodies. Sheil-na-gog versus Christ as symbol of Life. They cut down our forest, but from the stumps life will grow."
"Yes", Petra counters, "but perhaps I was seeing a need for more. We lived as a herd by moonlight. Those men and the shadows they cast were a painful awakening to the stronger light of the sun, whose light we also must learn to shine.
You could see the puzzle fitting together, in Colleen's mind, as she began to smile.
"You were always telling us about a middle path, between the left hand and the right.", Colleen recalled. "When you were with us, we could not see any value in the Christian's teachings, but here in New Jerusalem, free from the bonds of our physical world, I can see more of the big picture.
Up to this point, Petra had felt herself to be a student in New Jerusalem, but the reunion with Colleen brought out the mother and teacher in her.
"Aye, there are two sides to everything in this universe.", Petra elaborated. We see and learn by looking at the contrast of black and white. The white pages in a book can tell us nothing without the help of the black text."
Colleen explained, "When they took your life, it nearly destroyed me. I hid myself in the woods for many days, eating nothing, crying, praying and meditating. Then one day, while meditating, I found myself at the gates of New Jerusalem. I was sure I had died and followed you to heaven. I was guided to my room by a man named Nick, who I learned was my partner here. I returned again and again to this wonderful city, to sit with him and learn. When I arrived today, he told me the wonderful news. I would get to meet you again and we would all attend a ceremony of gathering. I heard music and began to sing and dance. Then my room began to fade and I found myself in this courtyard with you. I give praise to our Father, for reuniting us."
"Gathering!", inquired Petra. "Is there to be a ceremony here in the courtyard?"
"No, 'tis to be held in a special valley.", Colleen informed her. "Your friends left to make preparations and now 'tis time for us to return to our rooms. Our mates will escort us to the Gathering."
The mention of her "mate" began to make Petra feel agitated. Much as she would like to continue talking with this lass, she began inching toward the now open window. Colleen could clearly see the discomfort she had caused and with an impish smile on her face she gestured towards Petra's room.
"Be gone with ye now. I'll see you at the Gathering.", Colleen announced, half laughing.
"To the gathering.", Petra replied, as she quickly climbed back through the window.