17 Ballyfey Tales - The Ritual

Ch3 pt5

Walking out of the dome, with the intention of going back up to Calib’s mound, he heard quiet voices and the footsteps of a group people on the path so he stopped, waited, then heard a voice from the group shout out.

“ Well hello Grandpa Robur, isn’t it often the way that those who live furthest are always the earliest ? “

Grandpa recognised the voice as being that of Dermot the Ollave
and said with a smile,
“Good morning Dermot! I never knew that I was your Grandpa too”

This was received with lots of loud laughter from the group when other voices said “Dermot is probably expecting a Solstice gift from you now Grandpa Robur.”

Grandpa waited for the group to come closer then stepped in behind Dermot who was in the lead. On reaching the dome Boru came forward to open the door and from his bag he produced a loaf of bread and dish of salt to give the traditional blessing to each person as they entered. Breaking off a small piece of bread he dipped it into the salt giving it first to Dermot saying
“May you never hunger and May you never thirst.”

When all had entered and received the blessing Boru closed the  door then from cupboards under the bench he pulled out sheepskin rugs and scattered them on the seating. He brought out dried kindling, laid it in the pit and asked Dermot to light the fire.

As Dermot struck his flint stone to make a spark on the tinder
a flame sprung up and gradually there was a good fire burning.

The Ollave stood up and said “This fire represents the Sun and the Dome is our planet and our home.I thank the builders for their efforts in providing us with such a splendid and worthy shelter”

“Boru and company I rather believe that this dome can provide us all with so many opportunities, from that of meeting room to even temporary accommodation for those who need to be close to nature for awhile. I echo all that Dermot has said” said Robur.

Boru stepped forward and proudly said “I think you need to look in all of the cupboards and you will see that I have pre-empted you Robur. For there are cooking utensils, mugs, plates and cutlery within them, in fact all that any person would require for a short stay ”

“Oh splendid, splendid! Perhaps we could make a pot of tea as the fire is now going well ?” asked Dermot.

At this suggestion Boru set up the crane and hooked the kettle on over the fire whilst Robur opened his bag and took out some biscuits to share amongst the group. Everyone sat around drinking tea and admired the skills and ideas that went into the design of the dome and it’s fittings.

Later that day Robur sat in the Apothecaries’ talking to Jean-Pierre who spoke about his life in Ballyfey and how he was now looking forward to living on the small island of Gavrinis. He explained that his niece, Plume, would be coming for him on the Gavrinis flying stone and would arrive about three hours before sunset. Their journey to Gavrinis would begin just as the sun was setting at Calib’s Mound.

Snapdragon interjected, “Oh so Jeanne-Pierre you will end your time here at sunset on the eve of Winter Solstice and begin your new life in Gavrinis on Winter Solstice sunrise - that’s beautiful timing “

“That’s right my dear Snapdragon” said Jeane-Pierre smiling
“My new life begins with that of the sun.“

As the sun set on the eve of Winter Solstice, the druids gathered on top of Calib’s Mound to face the west.
They began their farewell ritual to the lowering sun and for the last time they were joined by Jeanne-Pierre. The longest night of the year had begun as all those gathered there stood in silence.

Within minutes of Grandpa Druid declaring that the ritual was ended, the Apothecary stepped on the Gavrinis Stone and was born away, together with Plume, into the west and last rays of the setting sun.

The morning of Winter Solstice saw the folk of Ballyfey, others from outlying areas and Granny with her priestess friends from Gaelach Island, gather to greet the new born sun.
Outside Calib’s mound facing East stood the druids and others with their arms raised upwards in welcome, whilst the
priestesses had the honour of lining the walls of the chamber  to witness the suns’ rays piercing the darkness.
Within moments the back stone was fully illuminated and the priestesses began a song of welcome to the new sun which was taken up by those outside the mound.

At the end of the song, the sound of a gong could be heard coming from the top of the mound and as people looked up there stood Boru & Rosheen. Boru in a loud voice said “Silence!” and all obeyed and then Rosheen said “Yesterday Plume brought us a barrel of Gavrinis Mead and lots of fresh croissants, with a suggestion from Jeanne-Pierre that this morning you are all to be invited to the dome to partake of an early breakfast”

Later, as they walked back home Granny mused that this was the best Solstice ever and Grandpa nodded smiling because she said that every year.

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