Saint Thekla, 11th century fresco in Saviour Cathedral of Chernihiv, Russia, 2007. Wikipedia.

Misty Outer Hebrides isles, disappearing
Cliffs, no beginning or end, we lived at
Ocean’s raw edge, crofters Gaelic-speaking,
Seafaring fishers, net mending, sails wind-
Stretched. “Amongst ancient magic, we
Live,” mother confided, tea pot-steeping,
Flickering hearth flames, night wind
Stone-cottage moaning. “Take care at
Standing stones,” she whispered, eyes
Fixed on mine. “Mistake not time swirling
For ocean-blowing winds.”

Winding hillside climb, I felt beckoning
Call of single standing stone, ancient Celtic
Figure stone-wresting, weathered-stain
Stared face-to-face. “Hello! I am Willow,”
No answer expected on this grassy island
Bluff. Winds hushed, warm sunlight cloud-
Eclipsed, time round me swirling, decades
Darkness dissolved, plurality of voices
Stated, “Life’s seas we have sailed, time
On axis turning, unraveling of time, we
Are the Great Undoing.”

Few back-steps taken, “What messages do
You bring?” I asked, their presence on my
Skin crawling. “To mortal eyes, past-future
Are but mists, for us, rhythmed steps for
Tidal crossings.” Pathways to birth or grave,
Irresistible urge witness sights permitted,
No wrongs I knew worth undoing, to ancient
Magic I bowed, stating, “Perhaps another day.”
“Willow, think of life as fishing nets, weeks,
Months, island lives web connected. Soon
Exodus will come, leave before the end.”

Thoughts as spoken words, light shimmering
Vision,  understood their meaning, glimpses
Granted beyond obscuring mists, crofters,
Fishers, shepherds leaving outer Hebrides Isles,
Fates touching not my family, yet disrupting
Dozen others. “How may I undo this wrong?
I asked, grief-tearful to my bones, cottages
Left to wilds. Stone stood silent still, amongst
Sunny breaks sun returned, blessing or curse,
I was knowing girl, not believed until crops
Failed, way of life abandoned.

For more on evacuated Outer Hebrides Islands, see this link
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