(514-08-22) Giving Thanks
Summary: Gwynaelle gives thanks to the Goddess and God for all that she's been blessed with recently the day after her wedding.
Date: August 22, 514
Related: Any with Gwyn and Glaw, including the wedding.

August 22, 514 — Sacred Pool at Newentone

The small wooden area near the manor is used for hunting and ceremonial duties by the Newentone's for generations now. Little logging is allowed by the knight and the woods are reasonably dense and at times even dark. A faint path winds through the trees, wide enough barely to allow riders single-file through the woods and after a short while opens into a clearing.

The clearing is matted with thick moss and even a ring or two of mushrooms that seem to keep any saplings from growing. Roughly in the middle it is dominated by a tranquil pool, while at the far edge an old tree has taken root at the very edge of it, curving it's trunk and almost bare branches over it as if to shelter it.

The pool is fed by a spring that bubbles from between the roots of the tree, usually below the waterline save in the heat of summer. As the pool never seems to spill over the edges much, there must be an underground brook that feeds it's waters into the Bourne somewhere.

At the bottom, the edges and especially among the bare roots of the tree little sacrifices can be seen: Most of them baubles, carved stones, bones, but the occasional silver denarii and very rarely even golden jewellery or loose semi-precious stones or amber as well, that accumulated over the years.

It is clear the peasants as well as the manor family use this as a sacred pool, a wishing pool from time to time, and thus such 'riches' are left for the aos si, the spirits and the Gods and Goddesses to take.

Sometimes, one feels the urge to seek a sacred place, to pray to the Goddess and God. To thank them for all that you have. The first time that Gwynaelle was told of and shown the hidden glade with it's pool considered sacred by those of Newentone by Glaw, she cast a bracelet from her wrist into the water, making a wish of her heart's desire. It was a wish that has come to fruition in so many ways. Blessed by the Goddess and God is she, and for this, she once more seeks to make offerings of thanksgiving after the wedding between she and Glaw after arriving to live at Newentone.

Speaking to the knight of her desire, he agrees to escort her to the glade, the two riding away from the manor upon a single horse. Into the woods they travel, the quietness to surround them, shadowed daylight lighting their way towards the clearing that shines so brightly. At the usual spot, the horse is stopped, and with Glaw's help, she is lowered to the ground. A quick kiss exchanged, the young lady leaves him there with the horse, taking a few items from the pack brought with them and heads into the sunlit glade.

Reaching the edge of the trees, Gwynaelle takes a moment to herself, first to toe off her shoes, then to strip even her dress from her body. Skyclad, she steps into the glade, bare legs to feel the brush of tall grasses, skin to catch the occasional breeze that might swirl through the trees. Proud is she, her body not hidden in any way as she makes her way towards the old tree that stands near the pool of water with the items in hand that she brought. They are soon set upon a large rock there within easy reach. Closing her eyes, she centers herself, opening herself to the words of her heart that which she hopes to express, to the offerings she wants to make. Remembering words she's learned from the priestess back home, she starts.

Turning to the south, she begins to rub her hands together, feeling the heat generated by her body between her palms. Whispering quietly, she offers, "Fire lives within me. Welcome fire, welcome to the south."

Turning then to the west, she licks her lips, feeling the water of her own body and how it is connected to the waters within the nearby sacred pool. Again, she whispers, "Water lives in me. Welcome water, welcome to the west."

Turning to the north, she feels the strength and stability of her own body, connected to the earth through the soles of her bare feet pressed against the moss and rough tree roots that are found here. Again, she whispers, "Earth lives in me. Welcome earth, welcome to the north."

Finally, turning to the east, she takes a deep breath, inhaling and then exhaling, feeling the breath of life in her body. She whispers then, "Air lives in me. Welcome air, welcome to the east."

From those items upon the rock, a coin is plucked out, to be tossed into the nearby pool of water, the ripples spreading out over the surface as the silver catches the light of the sun, flashing it as it dances towards the bottom to settle within the roots of the tree, joining other offerings that can be spied through the water.

"Hail to Brigid.. I call unto thee, Lady of golden hair, tender of the fires of inspiration, hearth and forge. Bestow upon me the secrets of these sacred fires. I invite you to join me in this day so I may feel your nearness as I thank you for your blessings thus given to me. I bid You, Hail and Welcome!"

Surely, the next breeze that might be felt against her body, is warmer than those before, a caress given to one shoulder that then plays in her hair.

Next, a wineskin is taken up from the rock, opened, and upturned over the roots of the tree, the wine within soaking into the ground, splashing into the water as the scent of apples is taken up by the air.

"Hail, Cernunnos… I call unto thee, O Horned One, Lord of the Wilds, Greenman, come unto my side so that I might know your nature. I invite you to join me in this day so I may feel your nearness as I thank you for your blessings thus given to me. I bid You, Hail and Welcome!"

A thrum of her heart comes then, a quickness of breath as the sounds of the limbs within the tree are picked up on as they move in the breeze.

Setting the wineskin down, bits of food are unwrapped, to be set out around the tree as well, along with a twined length of braided hair that combines darkbrown with reddish-black that's tucked into a knothole of the tree.

"With the gift of remembrance. I remember all of you, ancestors. You are dead but never forgotten, and you live on within me, and within those who are yet to come."

As she speaks the last, her hand falls to her belly, where she knows the next generation of Newentone already lives, bare as she is, the gentle swell of her stomach visible. A feeling of closeness is felt, both to that life within, and all those that have extended beyond both in Idmiston and Newentone.

"To each, Brigid, Greenman, and ancestors, to the directions of north, south, east and west.. I give you my thanks for the blessings you have seen to gift me with. Thank you each and every one… and I ask you for your blessings upon my marriage to Glaw, to the love we have together, and the life we have begun to create. Thank you… "

A moment of silence after all is said is taken before Gwynaelle gathers the wineskin and cloth to be carried back with her towards the waiting knight and horse. She walks as proudly as she did before, even knowing that the gaze of her beloved is upon her hidden in the edge of the woods. Once the pile of clothing is reached, she pulls her dress back on, feet soon covered by her shoes. Rejoining Glaw, she offers him a smile and a kiss before the two mount back up and return to the manor again.

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