The Summer Sun          Beltaine 1999
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The Gem Mine  

     Like the earth itself, the Summerlands holds within its embrace everything from peat to platinum. Here are some gems culled from the Summerlands Message Boards by the Editor (who may occasionally throw in a piece of coal, just for fun).  In future issues, these gems will be chosen for the way they shine upon particular seasons and feasts.  

     By the way, all of the following excerpts are reprinted here with the permission of their authors and are protected under copyright law.  

     From a posting by Topaz Owl on the An Daire Draiochta (Druids' Grove) Message Board:  
     I was trudging back from the barn tonight in about a foot and a half of snow. It's been snowing here all night and all day, with a blowing wind that makes visibility close to nil, and the roads are quite bad. Well, as I was trudging with my low boots steadily filling up with snow, I stopped suddenly, because a part of me became aware of something quite strange and wonderful.  
     I listened, barely breathing, as the snow drifted down around me. What did I hear?  
     Nothing. I heard a perfect silence. I sensed a perfect stillness. Not a car, not a sound, not even wind in the perfect muffled vastness, before I became aware of my own heartbeat.  
    I smiled, and grudgingly began to move again, because it is true that just a rare moment of absolute silence is sometimes better for the soul than music.

     From a posting by Daibhaid on the Bards' Hall  Message Board:  

    The Lament of the Child
The plains of Murthemney lie silent now, 
Save for the call of the Morrigu's own. 
On tufted ground the carnage red, 
Litters the stones, their bodies torn. 
The boys troops of Conchobar's fort, 
Who in their youth  prepared their way. 
Now silent are theirtender forms, 
But in the dawn, a hound does bay. 
With hurley sticks and stones came they,
To the otherworld Maeve'stroops were thrown,
But trophies none will collect this day,
For every boy warrior lies growing cold. 
Alas, Connaught, for you reckon not, 
What you have woke this silent morn. 
Cullen's hound has now the scent, 
And death within his body formed!

     From a posting by Searles on the Aonach Ceilteach (Celtic Workshop) Message Board:  

     ...the reason there is no single word for "no" in Celtic language is because a Celt is held responsible for their actions in the first place.  This means to me that a Celt should understand an action before undertaking it.  In that way, when they are told "no," by adding a word to the action to negate it, then the rightness of ceasing their efforts becomes readily apparent and not a kneejerk reaction.  My own sense of justice has been known to see me ignore a no if it was not also coupled to an action or an explanation.