READ EXCERPT - Maire
Fires of Gleannmara Series Book One
by: Linda Windsor
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A Foreword, as it 'twere, from Erin's heart .
. . .
Gleannmara. Ah the sound of it warms me to my earthy core. 'Tis one of me favorite parts, nestled as it was between me mist shrouded Wicklows and the Irish Sea. See, the Romans once dubbed me island Scotia and me people the Scots, which is why some of me children took that name to Scotland later on, but I digress. I am the Emerald Isle of Ireland -- Erin for short.
Since creation, I've had all kinds of names, Hibernia bein' the first on record, and sure, I've seen all manner of mankind come and go. Before the Great Flood were some Greeks and after, well the list is considerable. Descendants of Noah's sons, Japeth and Seth/Cham were the first, the first a settling group and the later a troublesome lot of pirates. Aye, at the base of me bloodlines are the Hebrews. Then came the Greeks, Parthelan at Tallaght-the graves are there to this day, and Nemedh-whose people fled the pirates for the North, for Greece, and to Britain, which is named for one of the leaders, Briotan Maol.
But the love of my God-graced green mountains and plains was never forgotten and my children came back, like hungry babes to a mother's breast. The Firbolgs returned first from Greece and, later, so did the Tuatha de Dananns from the North. After a terrible clash, the latter emerged triumphant, what with their superior powers.
Now there's them that believed this group to have the powers of magic. I meself think the Tuatha de Dananns were not magicians, but the forefathers of today's scientists. They were gifted with an intimate knowledge of God's earth and its workins. Such advanced learnin' as they had could easily be mistaken by a more primitive people for magic power as opposed to God given knowledge.
No matter how much they knew, tho', the Dananns were no match for the coming of the sons of Milidh and me last colonization at about 3500 years before Christ. These Milesians come by sea from what's now Spain, no small feat for that time. Here, as in the days of my creation, I saw the work of the Almighty's hand, for the Milesians' ancestors were none other than Phoenicians, a sea-lovin' race blessed by the Almighty for a deed of their Scythian forefathers back in the time of Moses.
Josephus writes of how they were from a Red Sea settlement called Chiroth and gave aid and supplies to the Hebrew children fleeing Egypt with Moses, thereby invitin' the Pharoah's wrath. 'Twas no escape but by their vessels which the Lord blessed them. He sent 'em an east wind to carry them to the Iberian Peninsula to become the greatest navigators of the ancient world -- the Phonecians.
'Twas no wonder that their descendants, the Milesians, were able to land on my shore and defeat the Danann's in battle, despite a tempest, which some say the Dananns conjured with their mysterious powers. How could even those as learned as the Dananns know this was a seafaring people blessed by the Hand of the Creator centuries before? To this day, some folk think the conquered Dananns shape-shifted into spirits and now live in the Other World as fairies and such. I was even called Erienn after one of their queens.
Me own account, howsome ever, is that the Dananns that got away hid themselves in the hills where they lived as hermits and continued their studies of the earth and stars, as such. For all that, they remained as much in darkness as their victors, still worshippin' the Creations, instead of the Creator. . . that is until the comin' of the Gospel Light.
It's thought the Apostle Paul referred to me in his letters as the green island to the north, lightin' the first spark, which gradually was fanned into a Pentecostal fire by the teachers of the Truth who followed and verified by the pagan druid history of the Star of Bethlehem and the darkness on the day of Christ's crucifixion. Some think the Magi themselves might have been druid astrologers and kings who knew something was amiss by the signs.
The way me children embraced that Light made me proud enough to bust. Druids and kings who sought Truth and Light, gave up their wealth and prestige to become servants of the One God. No other country in the history of the world produced more missionaries than meself. And, if I might say so meself, 'tis me man today credits for saving civilization when the rest of the earth sank into the dark age of the barbarians.
Now the tale I'm fixin' to tell is about the comin' of God's word to the hills and vales of tuatha Gleannmara. The spark of the Gospel kindled there to burn to this very day in the hearts of its children, despite the tribulations of corruption and invasion, spawn of the prince of darkness his own self. Make yourself comfortable and read the story of Rowan, who introduced Christianity to the tuath of his birth, and of Maire--pronounced 'moyra'-- the pagan warrior queen who found love in his arms and salvation in his God through Christ.
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