Rock of Ages Past

Part 4

Copyright©(1999-2000) Elaine L. Becker

All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: This story is an original creation and any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, real or fictional are unintentional. Any words to any songs or any poetry used in this story are attributed to their original artists in the story itself. Television and/or radio programs that are referred to in the story are not to my knowledge, real program content, but created by me solely for use in this story.

This story is about two women in love and may contain language or sexual scenes unsuitable for children or others who are easily offended by material of this nature. This is a story about same gender relationships. If you have a problem with same gender relationships, you should probably see your therapist. Hate is an illness that love can cure.

Comments or suggestions should be sent to:

Caer fixed herself a quick breakfast of porridge and leftover corn bread and a steaming mug of chicory tea. She put what was left of the porridge into another bowl, grabbed a handful of willow bark from her store, and wrapped it in a piece of clean, white linen. She put the bark in her sporran and with both hands full, pushed aside the hide with her elbow, and went out into the still dark morning.

She brushed aside the leather hanging in the door of the healing hut and entered. Enya looked up at her and smiled as she came in.

"How’s our charge?" Caer asked her as she walked over to the low table beside the pallet where Loic lay sleeping.

"He had quite a fitful night, I’m afraid. He didn’t seem to be in much pain but he kept tossing, turning, and striking out with his hands. He kept mumbling about Puritans and innocent people." Enya continued. "I helped him drink a cup of chamomile tea about an hour ago and he has been sleeping more peaceful since."

"He is probably having nightmares about being attacked." Caer whispered.

"Yes. I believe that is what it was." Enya agreed as she stood up and gathered her sewing basket. "I’ll be back to relieve you at sunset." She yawned as she pushed the leather aside and went out.

Caer set about putting two pots of water on the fire and tossed some of the willow bark into one and more chicory root into the other. She moved the bowl of porridge closer to the fire to keep it warm and she began to tidy up the small hut while she waited for Loic to wake up.

When she had finished tidying up she put another log on the fire to keep off the chill. She could feel the dampness of morning setting in. She took the piece of linen that she had wrapped the willow bark in and used part of it to strain her chicory tea. She took her tea and went to sit on the small yellow pallet on the floor facing the fire.

Caer stared into the yellow and blue flames and was soon rewarded with the face of her lady. The blue flames became the lady’s blue eyes. Caer was mesmerized. She had a flash to another time. They had been together then too. At another great circle. Then she felt herself rising.

Caer felt herself floating over the sleeping woman. She opened her eyes and looked down. The woman was naked. She was crying out in her sleep as she clutched a large, soft, body-sized pallet. "Ssshhh," whispered Caer as she reached out and caressed the woman’s cheek. Immediately, the woman stopped tossing about and became still. A peaceful smile settled upon her lips.

"What is your name." Caer said quietly. The woman in the bed below her stirred. The dark haired woman’s eyes fluttered open.

She seemed to look right at Caer and whispered, "Finian, my name is Finian."

Caer was suddenly drawn back to her physical body with an audible pop. Loic was waking and beginning to move around and making little grunting noises when he put too much pressure on his ribs. She watched him for a moment, running the name she had heard around in her mind. She rubbed her face, stretched her neck to get her bearings, and stood up.

"Good Morn, Loic. How do those ribs of yours feel?" She asked him as she moved over to the side of his pallet and knelt down. "I’ve got some willow bark tea brewing for you. It will keep the fever away and keep the swelling down. It will also keep the pain away and help any bruises you might have on the inside." Caer reached over and laid her small, strong hand on his brow. "No fever, that’s good. But we’re going to get some of this willow tea into you just to be sure and besides, it will ease the pain I know you’re feeling." She smiled at Loic as she drew her hand away and turned to the fire to prepare his drink.

"But you can’t ease the pain of injustice, can you?" Loic said quietly.

"No. . .I’ can’t." Caer replied softly. "Only the God and Goddess can do that."

"I don’t understand what they are fighting about." Loic’s voice was questioning, pleading. "Power and greed and slaughter. Is that what their god shows them and teaches them?"

Caer got up from the fire and went to Loic’s side. She held the mug of steaming liquid to his lips. As he sipped the hot beverage, Caer began to speak. "No, Loic, their god does not teach power, nor greed, nor slaughter. Their god teaches love, acceptance, and understanding as do our gods and Goddesses. Somewhere in history, some of their words and teachings were lost. They were retold as the people in power at the times of the retelling so chose. The inclusion of the Goddess in their religions was completely forgotten as being the complimentary side of the god and she was reduced to an evil vice. That is why it is so important to us, Druids, Priestesses, and Bards, to learn, remember, and share with those of like thoughts. We don’t want to ever forget that all things are created with the union of all the forces of nature and spirit. There is no one thing that one can choose to worship and not leave something out. We use the god and Goddess in part to symbolize the plurality of the world." Caer stopped her rambling. "I’m sorry." She grinned sheepishly. "I do tend to go on, don’t I?"

Loic smiled at her. "No. It is good to talk and to listen. It takes my mind away from thinking about my friends." He stopped smiling and looked away then quickly looked back. "You have taught me how important my teachers are. And you have answered my question about injustice. The only way to ease the pain of injustice is to teach another way. Our way. The way of the god and the Goddess." His face was again smiling and he reached out and grasped Caer’s hand in his own.

Caer suddenly remembered the bowl of porridge she had brought for Loic. "I brought you some porridge." She said as she got up to get him a spoon and to get the bowl. She went back to where he lay and started feeding him. "Tomorrow you can do this for yourself." She smiled at the look of confusion and embarrassment on his face at being fed like a child. "Today your ribs are too tender for you to be sitting up. You need to lay still and be flat on your back for them to heal properly. Tomorrow we will sit you up a little with a folded pallet behind you."

They talked a little more about the rebellion and the possibility that the Druids and pagans would have to move their homes and their sacred ceremonies to a more remote and safer space.

Caer held the tea up to Loic’s lips and let him drain what was left in the mug. "Rest now." She said as she got up and gathered up the soiled utensils placing them in the large, hand carved wooden basin on the small table. Loic closed his eyes and relaxed his body. Soon, he was breathing deeply.

Caer went outside to the cistern at the side of the small building. She filled a large pot with water, went back inside, and placed it over the fire. She checked on Loic who was sleeping peacefully and grabbing a large basket, left the hut.

She went around to the back of her own hut to her small smokehouse and to the cold storage mound cut into the small hill behind. From the smokehouse she chose a small leg of mutton and then went to the storehouse to gather a couple of potatoes, an onion, and a wax-sealed jar of dried carrots. Caer made her way around to the front of her hut and went inside. She placed the basket of food items on the table, went to the shelf, and chose a large bay leaf, some thyme, and some sage. These she wrapped in a small piece of white linen and placed it in the basket. As an after thought, she reached out, took the clay jar of chicory off the shelf, and placed it in her basket.

Caer looked around the room to see if there was anything else she would need. Her eyes came to rest on her harp. She picked up the basket, put it over her arm then picked up the small harp, and put the leather strap over her shoulder.

The washing water was definitely hot enough. Caer grabbed two pieces of wool hanging by the hearth to protect her hands and dumped the hot water into the wooden basin, over the dishes. While she waited for the water to cool enough to put her hands in, she put a pot of chicory tea on to brew and busied herself making the stew.

All of her chores done, the stew cooking and a mug of chicory tea in her hand, Caer went and retrieved her harp from the corner and sat on a stool facing the fire; she listened to the stillness of the still early morning. She put down her cup and brought the harp between her knees. She had no song in mind when her hands gently and softly started caressing the strings.

As she played, she stared into the fire. ‘Finian.’ She thought. ‘She said her name was Finian.’ She closed her eyes and saw the face that she knew she was falling in love with. Caer’s spirit seemed to soar.

Where are you my Finian?

Where are you my love?

Will you come to be with me?

As on the wings of a dove?

I can’t be there to guide you

To place your hand in mine

To lead you through the passages

From your time into mine

But listen to my music

When I come to you at night

For my words will gently guide you

And my lyre will be your light.

I’ve known those eyes of blue

They’ve held me in their stare

Some time past we pledged our love

For eternity to share.

I know not how you’ll come to me

Only that you will

And I’ll be waiting by the stone

My lyre the air will fill

Though winds of time have parted us

I know the time will come

For the wheel of fate is turning round

When you and I are one

Caer finished her song and opened her eyes.

"That was beautiful." She turned her head toward the sound of the voice. Loic’s head was turned in her direction and he was smiling softly at her. Caer returned the slight man’s smile and nodded her thanks, then turned back to face the fire.

"She is someone, whom I have not yet met, yet have known before." She whispered.

Caer placed her harp on the floor beside her stool and went to Loic’s side. She placed her hand upon his brow and was glad to feel the coolness. Loic looked up into her face. "Ah, but you cannot meet she whom you have known before. You can only reunite. You are waiting for her and she will come. I could feel her presence very close as I listened to your song. She searches for you as well."

Caer’s eyes glistened with unshed tears. "Do you know this, Loic?"

Loic reached out and grasped her hand. "I was told when I was a young boy that I have a gift. The gift of knowing. Though it did not serve me well when my friends and I were attacked, I feel it is serving me now. That is one of the reasons I chose to become a druid priest. To learn to understand and control my gift and put it to good use for the Goddess. Since I am still an ovate, I still have much to learn, but sometimes the ‘knowing’ is very strong, as it was while you were singing.

"Can you tell me anything else about her? I see her face almost nightly in my dreams and many times throughout the day. I hear her voice and have felt my hand upon her cheek. I have even danced with her in a dreamlike state when I was away from my body and went to her. We have even spoken and told one another our names." Caer had again, momentarily forgotten about everything except the raven-haired woman from her dreams.

Loic smiled. "This bond that you have with your Finian is very strong and very ancient. You have been together many times before and will be so again. You will be shown the way. Finian however, I feel, is confused. She does not understand how to find you. She knows that you exist and her feelings toward you are as strong as yours for her. She has the information for how to find you, but knows not how to put it all together and use it. I feel that she is in a place where the old ways have mostly been forgotten and she has no where and no one to turn for help. But do not despair, Caer, for she will come. This I feel very strongly." Loic squeezed her hand in reassurance and smiled.

Caer wiped at her eyes with the back of her hand, surprised to find them wet and stood up. She looked down at Loic. "How did you know her name?"

Loic smiled, "You said her name in your song."

Caer laughed shyly. "Oh, yes. I did, didn’t I?" She walked toward the fire, where the black, iron cookpot hung simmering. "Do you feel well enough to eat some stew? It has been cooking since this morning and is ready to be eaten."

Loic sniffed the air. "Mmmmmm. Yes, my stomach is very empty now that I listen to it." They both laughed as his stomach grumbled.

"That is the best sign that you are healing." Caer grinned as she filled a bowl.

Enya came to relieve her of her duties shortly after dusk. Caer took a bowl of the mutton stew with her to her own hut and put a pot of water on the fire to brew some chamomile tea. She sat at her small table and began to eat.

She felt at such a loss. She wanted to be with Finian to help her. To show her the way. ‘But if I were with her, she wouldn’t need to be shown the way.’ She thought.

Caer finished her bowl of stew and made herself a cup of tea. She sat sipping the tea and thinking about what Loic had told her. ‘I have given it to the god and Goddess and they have both given me their blessings. Now I must help her find her way.’

Caer stood up and went to the small pallet on the floor in front of the fireplace. She sat facing the fire and crossed her legs. She concentrated on her breathing and felt the earth energy move up through her center from the earthen floor beneath her. Her soul merged with the energy and flowed up through her crown and out into the universe.


Finian woke herself up. "Finian, my name is Finian." She said aloud. She stared into the darkness. Her thoughts were muddled with sleep as she tried to remember what had awakened her. ‘Why did I say my own name?’ She mused. She suddenly realized that she had placed her hand on her cheek and was softly rubbing it. She had the sensation that someone or something had caressed her.

Memories of restlessness came to her. She couldn’t remember what she had been dreaming of that had made her restless but she remembered feeling soothed back into sleep until she had awakened herself saying her own name.

Finian rolled over and looked at the clock. Three a.m. She lay there staring at the clock. ‘Drogheda.’ She thought. ‘That’s what I was dreaming about. The protestors were invading Drogheda. People were being killed.’ She closed her eyes and tried to dispel the fear that was wrestling to take hold of her again. ‘Why do I feel this panic every time I think of that?’ She questioned herself. ‘It’s not like I was there and lived through it or died in it. It happened three hundred and fifty-nine or so years ago.’ She told herself.

Finian’s consciousness was suddenly drawn to her full bladder. She swung her long legs over the side of the bed and headed to the bathroom. Her thoughts turned to the green-eyed woman. ‘I wonder what her name is.’ She thought as she crossed the dark bedroom. "What?" She said aloud as she entered the bathroom. What was she doing wondering about the name of someone who only existed in her dreams? Her hand was once again drawn to her cheek as she remembered the sense of it being caressed.

She made her way back across the darkened bedroom to her bed. She lay on her back staring up into the darkness. ‘Was it her?’ She wondered. Did the woman from the lake to come to her again? Was it her caress that she had felt upon her cheek? Was it she who had comforted her in her sleep? "This is nuts." She said out loud as she rolled over and grabbed her body pillow tight against her.

‘I’m going to have to get back to working out,’ she thought. ‘Yeah. That’s it. I’ve been way too lax lately.’ She hadn’t been to the dojo in almost a month. She had been studying and practicing the way of Aikido since she was 10.

In the year or so after her parents were killed, her grandparents had decided that she needed something to focus on besides her loss. They had enrolled her in dancing school, which didn’t last a week. Music lessons lasted a little longer but Finian just didn’t feel an affinity for either of them. Her interests were climbing trees, exploring the woods, playing baseball, and taking her aggressions out on an old punching bag that her grandfather had hanging in the barn. She needed a more physical outlet.

One day she had come home from school with a paper about a new dojo that was opening in town. They taught a form of Japanese martial arts called Aikido. Finian had read the paper while riding home on the schoolbus and had felt immediately that it was what she wanted to do. She had heard some of the other kids in school talking about various forms of martial arts that they were into and she liked the idea of being able to defend herself. She didn’t like the idea of competing, though. With Aikido, there were no competitions. You were simply competing against yourself and your own abilities. She had never been one to enjoy being in the spotlight. She preferred to stay low key and behind the scenes. When she showed it to her grandparents, they had agreed to let her try it. Its concepts were different than other martial arts. Aikido’s main goal was not in combat and self-defense, but in self-improvement and release of negative emotions and thoughts.

Finian finally drifted off to sleep with the thought of going to the dojo the following day and getting back into some sort of routine.

Her drifting thoughts of Aikido turned into other dreams. She heard a harp playing and then heard her name. She was lulled into deeper sleep by the sounds of the harp and the voice that accompanied it.

Finian woke up to the sound of raindrops hitting against her window. She remembered the promise she had made to herself as she had drifted back to sleep at three o’clock this morning. She rolled out of the bed and spotted her notebook lying on the bedside table. It was opened to the page she had written her dream of May second on. As she reread the words of the song she had heard in her dream on that night, she suddenly started to remember another song.

She picked up the notebook and turned to a clean page. It took her a moment to figure out what the current date was. She wrote, ‘May 6, 2000. Woke myself up saying my own name. Dreamed of Irish Rebellion of 1641. I heard another song.’ Finian stopped writing and looked at the apple blossoms, inhaling their lighter scent. ‘They are starting to pass.’ She thought, suddenly feeling very sad.

The words of the song came slowly back to her. She wrote every word as if it were being sung to her right then. "My Finian." She said aloud. The flaxen-haired woman had sung "my Finian." Suddenly, Finian remembered waking herself up early this morning saying her own name out loud. "I told her my name!" Finian gasped.

Finian put the notebook down quickly. She stood up and hurried across the white, carpeted floor to the bathroom. She snatched a facecloth from the linen closet and turned on the cold water. After running the cloth under the faucet, she scrubbed her face with the ice cold water until it tingled. When she looked at herself in the mirror, intense blue eyes shined out of a rosy red face.

She threw the wet facecloth in the hamper and grabbed her toothbrush. She ran a brush through her long, silky black hair and pulled it back into a ponytail, securing it with a rubber band. She strode out of the bathroom to her dresser and put on a set of gray sweats and a pair of white socks. She took out another pair of socks and some underwear. She went to her closet and after a bit of searching, found her gi and her belt. She grabbed a pair of jeans and a pale, blue polo shirt.

She walked back into the bathroom and got shampoo and conditioner, a new bar of soap, which she placed into a plastic travel container, her deodorant and a towel and facecloth.

Finian went to the kitchen and placed the items she was trying to balance on the breakfast bar. She grabbed a plastic bag from the bottom cabinet and picked up her backpack from where she had dropped it on the stool a couple of days ago. She placed all of the items into it, reached into the small front pocket, got her car keys, and threw it over her shoulder. She glanced at the clock on the coffee maker. Eight-twenty. She would be able to get to the dojo by eight thirty-five or so, depending on traffic.

When Finian pulled into the parking lot of the dojo, she was relieved that the only other vehicle there belonged to the Sensei. She took her backpack and entered the small whitewashed building. She went to the small locker room on her right as she entered the small lobby. She quickly changed into her gi and reached into her pocket to retrieve her sock-slippers.

She locked her pack, her sweats, and her shoes in her locker, padded quietly to the door, and entered the carpeted lobby again. She walked to the doorway of the room to her right and entered quietly. She moved slightly to the right of the doorway and sat soundlessly on the mat crossing her legs. She waited until the sensei returned from his meditative state and looked at her from across the room.

"Welcome, Finian." He said. She stood up, faced the sensei, and bowed. She walked softly to the right side of the room and found the spot near the corner that she preferred. She again sat down on the mat, crossing her legs. She placed her open hands on the top of her thighs, palms facing upward. She closed her eyes and started to concentrate on her breathing.

As she closed her eyes, thoughts and pictures started swirling through her head. Fragments of the two songs she had heard, the beautiful face of the woman at the lake, religious wars, apple blossoms, and monoliths.

She tried to force herself back to her breathing. ‘Ki.’ She thought. ‘I need to reconnect; to get my ki flowing. All of these strange experiences and dreams must have started happening because I lost my connection.’

Finian thought about the concept of ki. Aikido is a disciplined art and without that discipline, she had lost her connection. Ki is the principle that governs the universe and the person. It is the cosmic truth. The universe is constant and ever-flowing and Ki is the person’s connection to all life, time and space.’

She paced her breathing and repeated the concept of ki to herself with each breath. Soon she was focused on nothing but her breathing. She was her breath. Nothing else existed. She was nowhere and everywhere. Time did not exist. Her physical body did not exist. She was spirit.

Finian’s soul connected to the flow and she glided along the river of time and space. Her spirit soared and rose to enter the black hole of timelessness. Around her swirled impressions that were moving too fast to grasp. These impressions that her soul was picking up were of times long past and futures yet to come. Nothing was stagnant. Past, present and future were all swirling together.

Suddenly, she felt the flow start to subside. She had the sense that she was being guided. She noticed that she was seeing, but not with her physical eyes. She was aware of a tingling sensation in the center of her being. From that center, a cord of radiant white light seemed to extend out into the darkness. She followed the light beam and was able to detect a small pinpoint of dazzling brilliance beyond its’ end.

Finian sensed that she was sliding down the radiant light that extended out from her solar plexus. She saw another cord reaching up to meet her from the pinpoint of light she had detected.

The instant that the two light cords joined, there was an explosion of colors, sounds, and images. There was no absolute point where the two cords connected. Blue eyes stared into green ones. Their energies intertwined. Gliding and undulating in and out of each other’s astral form. A dance of recognition and reuniting. They were one.

Finian sensed soft caresses and felt her own soul returning them willingly. She felt warm breezes upon her cheek as the green eyes danced around her. She heard a name whispered across the winds of time. "Caer. My name is Caer." Little explosions of heat began to go off in all of her chakras. She felt the connection to her physical body begin to pulsate. She was experiencing sensations in parts of her astral and physical being that she had never felt.

Gradually the cord began to separate, again becoming two separate entities. Caer’s dazzling green eyes disappeared from her vision. Where they were, was again, just a pinpoint of dazzling light. She felt her soul settle back into the physical with a shudder. When she felt the energy move down through her root chakra to reconnect to the earth she was physically jolted. She felt an ache and a fire that she had never experienced before and her inner thighs trembled as she forced the energy down into the earth to be grounded. She quickly concentrated on her breathing.

Finian opened her eyes and after a moment of adjusting to the soft light, glanced around the room. She was still the only one here besides the sensei, who was deep in his own meditative state on the other side of the room. She stood up slowly and stood with her feet together and her arms at her side, blue eyes staring straight ahead.

She extended both arms out to the sides and swung her right leg to the left, spinning herself in a perfect, liquid circle. She came back to her beginning position and without a second’s hesitation repeated the motion in the opposite direction. She again came back to her starting position and began weaving an intricate, sensual dance with her arms and legs and body.

When Finian was finished with her warm-up, the sensei walked softly across the padded floor to where she stood with her hands together in front of her chest in the form of prayer. She nodded slightly to him and the sensei became her attacker. She responded with a series of defensive hand and arm motions and kicks. Her movements were liquid and unhurried as she easily deflected each blow her attacker attempted to assault her with. When he moved in for the final attack, Finian easily and quickly reached out and in the blink of an eye, the sensei lay in a heap on the floor. Finian came to a stop and waited for the sensei to get to his feet. They stood facing one another and bowed.

Finian returned to the locker room and retrieved her backpack from the locker. She went around to the other side of the lockers where the showers were and laid out her clean clothes and towel on the bench and grabbing her shampoo, soap and facecloth, stepped into the shower stall.

She closed her eyes as the warm water cascaded down over her long, black hair. She was making a conscious effort not to think about her earlier meditation as she soaped her silky hair. ‘I’ll go by Mich’s office on the way home and say Hi,’ she thought. She hadn’t spoken to either Michelle or Bobbi in a couple of days and they had respected her need to be alone and hadn’t called her. She knew that Michelle had to be chomping at the bit to know what she had been up to. The problem was going to be what to tell her.

Finian finished showering, dried off, and got dressed. She placed the wet items into the plastic bag and tossed everything into her backpack. Shouldering her backpack, she left the dojo.

Finian pulled out onto Route 28 and turned left. She glanced at the clock on the dashboard and noted that it was eleven thirty-eight. The dojo was only a couple of minutes from the insurance company where Michelle worked. ‘Michelle should just be getting off work,’ she thought, ‘think I’ll go see if she if she wants to grab a quick bite before she goes home.’ Finian was suddenly feeling like she needed Michelle to know that she wasn’t angry with her. She really wanted Michelle to understand that this thing that was happening really wasn’t what she seemed to think it was.

As she drove, she noticed that she was feeling like she was floating. Everything around her, inside and outside of the car had a surreal feel and look to it. It was almost like she was no longer anchored in the present; like part of her consciousness was somewhere else. Instead of unnerving her, she felt a calmness, a soothing. It was as if she had made a decision and was embracing the acceptance of that decision and was moving toward fulfillment. She felt warm and comforted.

Finian put on her right directional signal and glancing in her rearview mirror, noticed the satisfied smile on her face. The lines of her face were relaxed and her blue eyes seemed to sparkle with joy. She felt so different than she had ever felt in her life. For a brief moment, she thought back to when she and Michelle were in high school and they had experimented with marijuana. It was a similar feeling. An euphoric, floating sensation.

She parked the Ranger in front of the small building and sat there for a few minutes enjoying the feelings that were sweeping over her. Most times, after meditating and ki breathing, she experienced feelings of calmness and centeredness, but this was different. It felt so much more.

Michelle looked up from her desk when she heard the door open. "Hey! Hi. Wow! You are the last person I expected to see walk through that door. I mean, I’m really glad you’re here."

Finian smiled at her. "Hi. I went to the dojo and worked out a little bit this morning and decided I should come over and take you out to lunch."

Michelle cocked her head and looked at Finian out of the corners of her eyes. "So, you’re not mad at me?"

"Nah, nothing to be mad at you about," Finian said with a grin. "I just needed some space and time to get a handle on myself. The events of late kind of threw me off balance and I was feeling really confused and at such a loss for an explanation. So…how does lunch sound?"

"Sounds great. Just let me shut things down and we’re outta here." Michelle popped the small cassette tape into the answering machine, grabbed her purse, followed Finian toward the door, and locked it behind her.

Part 5

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