A True Legend
To all and singular, know
you that the cliff whereon stands the ruins of the castle called Tantallon
bears witness to the events that happened in time so long ago that there
is only legend left to bear that witness.
In time before time, before
the castle appeared a druid monk was charged to hold vigil on that cliff.
And well he did. In the day, in the dark of night, in the light darkness
which we call moonlight he stood his vigil. His particular charge was when
the moon was at its fullest. When the moon was full and low in the sky he
was able to see clearly the water and its waves and all upon the surface
of the water.
One night the moon lit the
dark sky with particular brightness by hanging low and casting a silver
shine over every wave, every blade of grass, every rock. The druid was
able to see a silkie swimming by in the water below. A silkie was a
magical creature who was a seal while in the water, but was able to
achieve a human form when close by the water, upon the land. She was
singing an enchanted tune that no mortal had ever heard before. As she
sang, he noted the tune she sang.
The next time the moon at
its fullest and hung low in the night sky, she came and sang her song
again. This time, the druid had formed an accompaniment to her singing.
And as she sang so did he. And the tune they sang together caused the moon
to pause in her journey. Silver clouds surrounded the moon to help keep
her in place to hear both voices raised in song. They passed the time the
moon was full with their singing.
Month after month, year
after year, they sang together. Druids are very long lived and so are
silkies. After an age had passed, they began conversing, she in her
tongue, and he in his, but both by now understood each other's intent.
They fell in love. However, he was of the land, and she was of the sea.
And so their love languished for a while.
Now if you stand on the
edge of the cliff where now stands the ruin of Tantallon, you should look
to the right and discover a cave. Deep within this cave is a shelf. This
shelf is neither of the land nor of the sea. At the high tide, it is not
of land, for it is submerged. At low tide, it is not of the sea for it is
above the sea's level of waves.
When the druid's moon was
full, they were able to meet and love on this shelf within the cave. That
was possible because, he, not of the sea, and she, not of the land, could
meet on that shelf that was neither of land nor of sea. Love well and full
they did, for both knew each other's thoughts and each was in harmony with
Silkies live longer than
druids. At one meeting, which was their last, the druid told the silkie
that they would never meet again, for he was at the end of his life.
Anyone looking toward the cave during this meeting, their last, would have
seen a glow that rivaled the moon itself, coming from the cave.
The druid and the silkie
parted, never to meet again. But, from that last meeting came a man. He
was strong, handsome, intelligent and had knowledge of things earthly and
unearthly. He lived and walked on the earth but longed for the sea. He
would stand on the cliff of Tantallon, looking at the water, wishing he
were able to live in it, surrounded by its caressing waves.
Now druids have long passed
from the earth. Silkies are seen no more. This man, whose father was druid
and whose mother was silkie was torn with longing. He yearned for the
comfort of a belief that was lost. He found that com-fort in the new
religion that had come upon the land. He became a Christian monk. And
still his heart was not satisfied, for he had a longing for the rocking
waves of the sea.
One day, he obtained a boat
and rowed out to the rock known as Bass Rock, which is just out from the
cliff of Tantallon. From this rock, he had the feeling that he could be
both of sea and land, and so became more content. He was surrounded by the
sea where his mother, the silkie, swam and he was able to see the cliff
where his druid father stood vigil. Visible to him was the cave where he
was conceived. He built a small monastery on the rock. And, he too kept
vigil. For it is said, that when the moon is full and low in the sky and
silvery clouds surround it, the druid, the silkie and their son, all join
together for the song that the silkie first sang. She had called the song,
Druid's Moon for she had seen the Druid long before he had seen her.
Walk well in that place,
and listen well, but do not disturb them, for they are waiting for the
next moon when they can join their voices and their hearts together once
again, for true love is eternal.
Legend – a story that is so
old that you cannot tell if it is truth or fiction or a mixture. This is a
Modern True Legend and is my Christmas gift to you. I began writing it
after seeing the cave while standing on the cliff where Tantallon stands.
©1999 Rita Hamilton (Used here with her permission.)
May you neither your strings
nor your spirit ever break,
May your harp and your soul always be in tune.