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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Druid Moon of Tantallon

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 the other.

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.


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