so i was looking to see what moira says in irish gaelic when she uses her ult, and the consensus is “Géill do mo thoil,” which translates to "surrender to my will.” but i found one person who suggested otherwise
Part 3 sees Jamie and Bree collecting water for the Sian - a blessing that is carried out in the morning of Hogmanay with water, traditionally from the river. The story Jamie tells Bree is of my own creating so any inaccuracies about folklore are my own fault, but the premise of the tale is rooted in Celtic faerie stories.
This chapter was a bit rushed as I really wanted to get it up before I go on holiday - maybe it could use a little polishing but I hope you will like it for what it is. Thank you for reading as ever, let me know what you think or any questions you have :) Han xx
Brianna was always eager for any chance to ride one of the
Lallybroch horses so when her father had requested her company fetching some
sort of special water, she had been only too pleased to go with him. Especially
as she had heard him laughing with Mama in their room and knew that if he was
in a particularly good mood he would almost certainly let her urge Aoileann to
a gallop across the meadow which led to the river.
However as the horses made their way into the woods Bree
felt a calm descend over her and no longer wanted to gallop furiously toward
their destination. She was happy listening to her father point out which birds
made which call and asking him questions about the woods. The air was cold and crisp
and everything seems to be tinged with a faint blue light as the afternoon
bowed gracefully toward evening and their shadows began to lengthen across the
“What makes the water we’re fetching so special, Da?”
“It is the source we are collecting it from. Your Aunty will
have told ye of the ‘saining’ or Sian,
Jamie gave her a sidelong smile and Bree could tell that
there was more to come. She hoped it would be one of his stories, about the
Auld Ones or mythical creatures or ghosts that roamed the Celtic isles.
Sometimes his stories would absorb her so much that when they were over it
would take Bree a while to remember where she was and the best ones made Da’s
eyes light up with the telling and his voice would get that deep far away
quality as if he was travelling the tale with her for the first time.
“Yes, the blessing of
the house and the animals and people to ward off spirits and bring good luck.”
“Aye, and the place
we gather the water for the blessing is an ancient river crossing. It is what
ye call a living and a dead ford. Have ye heard of such a thing mo chridhe?”
Bree shook her head and grinned at the flash of excitement
on her father’s face.
“Ach weel let me tell ye of it.”
Jamie shifted himself in the saddle as if settling in for a
long journey and Bree copied his movements faithfully, making sure that she
held her head as high as he did.
“Ye’ll maybe no ken this but rivers are the dwelling places
of the goddesses of the Auld ones. The waters are their kingdoms and any human
that enters their depths must accept the rule of the Auld ones. That is why ye
must no’ fight the current should ye ever get too deep, ye must show respect to
the goddess by swimming wi’ the pull of the water, allowing her to court ye and
release ye at her will.”
Jamie’s voice was softer than usual, his accent broadening
as he spoke and his eyes rested on the path ahead of them as Bree watched him
“The old folk of believed the goddess is the one who decides
what the river will do, where it will bend and where it will flood and where
the creatures of the land may cross safely to the other side. Before men built
bridges to satisfy their own impatience they relied upon the kindness of the
river goddess’s to provide them safe passage for whilst the deer was given
strong legs to spring across and squirrels given agility that they might leap
from branches, man needed to ken humility and so he waited on the river’s
Jamie paused to take a drink from his water pouch and
watched out of the corner of his eye as Bree squirmed impatiently. Fighting
back a smile, Jamie offered the flask to her but she shook her head
“No thank you, carry on Da … please.”
Jamie nodded and thought for a moment before reigning in and
swinging down from his saddle.
“The path ahead is too narrow for both horses. We’ll tether
Aoileann here and ride together.”
Bree would normally have pestered to be allowed to ride on
but she was far too invested in the story to waste time bartering with her Da. Aoileann
was tethered to a nearby oak and Bree settled in the saddle between Jamie’s
legs within a couple of minutes and they set off again.
“Where was I?”
“Man had to learn humility…”
Bree prompted and he nodded slowly as if to himself.
“Och, that’s right. Weel, twas not only the living who
needed a place to cross. Spirits needed to cross from this world into the next
and though they could have chosen a passage between the trees or cliffs or over
the sea had they wished it, they chose the rivers for they are the most
beautiful of crossings in the Highlands and so the goddess of each river made a
special ford, a ford where both living and dead might cross in harmony and go
on their way in peace.”
“Wouldn’t the spirits mind sharing their crossing?”
Bree asked curiously and Jamie grinned
“No, their journey in this world is at an end and as they
cross into the next, it pleases them to walk alongside a living soul one last
time. The spirits who cross at such fords are not the same as the likes of the
Bree shivered at the mention of that particular ghost story.
The tale of the Wild Hunt had given her the creeps and made her reluctant to
blow out the candle at bedtime for several days after the telling of it. She
huddled closer into her Da’s chest now, surreptitiously putting her hand on his
sleeve, feeling better for having a grip on him, certain that if anyone could
protect her from the less friendly spirits of the woods, it was her Da.
“So where we’re going now, to the living and dead ford, it
is a spirit crossing?”
“How will we know if … well if someone is trying to cross it
while we’re there?”
Bree bit her lip; the last thing she wanted was to get in
the way of a spirit crossing.
“I doubt ye would feel a thing unless they wanted ye to, but
we willna be there long. We will fill up our flasks and be on our way.”
Jamie reassured her as the ford came into view between the
Jamie lifted Bree down and handed her a flask, she edged
toward the water but kept a tight grip on his hand, blue eyes wide with
trepidation. Jamie had seen her look so when she was about to try a food that
was new to her or confess to some wee foolishness to her Mam that she wasn’t
sure would earn her a scolding or not.
watched her with a curious mix of pride and awe that he so often felt when his
daughter was alone with him and his attention could be devoted solely to her.
He had spent many hours; countless hours really, imagining the child he and
Claire had created. He had usually, to his shame, imagined a boy sometimes with
Claire’s dark curls and other times with his flaming hair. He had imagined the
detail of his son’s face, small dimples when he smiled and the high arch of his
feet. He had brought to life in his mind the crease of skin at the laddie’s
elbows and the high giddy sound of his laugh and yet for all his imagining and
dreaming nothing had prepared him for the reality of Brianna.
found himself enthralled by everything she did, her wee quirks and the thoughts
she cared to share with him were treasures that he hoarded greedily and stored
against the burden of the years he had lost with her.
the stories he told her he wove the culture of their people and tried to impart
the wisdom that he had received from his own father’s tales. Jamie wanted
Brianna to have the world laid at her feet and he would do all he could to
place it there, but he also wanted her to understand the soil on which she
stood. To know the history of her country, to feel that Scotland was in her
bones not just in her heritage and so he told her tall tales of kelpies,
faeries and maidens in lochs and he brought her to the places that she might
feel the connection most strongly, hiking in the hills and riding through the
forests of their home so that whatever the future held, she would always ken
that she had a place here at Lallybroch, a door that would never close and a
welcome that would never expire.
“Should I just … you know … take it or do I have to say
Bree whispered. Jamie considered her for a moment and then
dropped to a crouch, the shallow water lapping over the toes of his boots. He
closed his eyes and turned his face up to the sun
“Ar n-Athair a tha air nèamh, Gu naomhaichear d'ainm. Thigeadh
do rìoghachd. Dèanar do thoil air
an talamh mar a nìthear air nèamh.”
wasn’t sure why the Lord ’s Prayer came to his head but he saw no reason why it
was any less valid than another offering of respect and the Gaelic seemed to
please Brianna, who with a sigh of relief that he seemed to know the right
words to appease the river goddess and spirits alike, let go of his hand and
dipped her flask into the babbling water, murmuring a shorter verse of prayer
that Ian had taught her, eyes tightly closed, claiming what she needed before
carefully tightening the lid and handing it over to him.
On the topic of Americans claiming to be Irish etc, I would like to tell you a hilarious/tragic story about what happens when you don't do your research. So I was working in America a few years back and one night I met some interesting people in a bar and we got chatting. Upon hearing my accent one guy went "oh my god, I'm Irish too!" (He wasn't) He started telling me about the massive new piece he'd just got done on his back to reflect his heritage. He said "it's an old Irish proverb, (1)
, ‘may the road rise to meet you’ which I think is beautiful.“ He offered to show it to me and I of course wanted to see this so he whipped off his shirt and there it was. I didn’t have the balls to tell him, and I hope he never found out what it meant because there, in massive old Irish lettering covering the length of his back, surrounded by roses were the words "An bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas le do thoil.” (Translation: “can I go to the toilet please”) Obviously he had asked (2)
(3/3) someone to translate the phrase for him and they thought they’d have a bit of fun at the poor lad’s expense. I complimented the tattoo and made a speedy exit. To date the most hilarious party anecdote I have.
I walk the hills of memory
As my feet tread soft the land,
I follow in the footsteps of your melancholic love,
Oh how I dream to hold your hand,
Oh conas is mian liom a shiúil tú in aice liom,
Across the curve of earth I trod,
As the sun begins to hide,
Her face exists behind the clouds,
That roll in to cover sea and sky,
Green my eyes and green my soul,
You were the green of Earth
That lived inside your heart,
Féach mo ghrá do thoil ar do shon
Even as the blue of sea does part us,
Oh how I dreamt of you each morning,
As the golden sun did rise,
And kissed the clouds of morning light,
Oh in my bed I wish you were,
Ba mhaith liom breathed tú in aice liom,
I wish we tangled as sheets do,
Surrounded by those green hills,
That memories live inside,
Oh how I loved you,
Oh how I made love to your soul,
The great beauty of nostalgic love,
It lives inside me, eternal,
My melancholy love,
My love I love to love you
Until love breathes its last breath.
Ar mhaith leat fear sneachta a dhéanamh? Tar anseo is imreomid. Ní bhfaca me tú le fadó Gan aon ago Tá fabdh againn Bhíomar dlúthchairde Ach anois, níl muid An gcloiseann tú mo ghlór? Ar mhaith leat fear sneachta a dhéanamh? No rud eile a dhéanamh? (Fág me anseo Anna) Ceart go leor…
Ar mhaith leat fear sneachta a dhéanamh? Nó rith timpeall an tí? Níl tú ag teacht amach Nó fágaíl an teach In aon chaoi Tá mé i mo aonair Tá uaigneas orm Ba bhréa liom cara amháin!
Elsa, Tá tú isteach ann Is tá mé amuigh. Níl aon daoine eile againn Níl áthas orainn Ar cor ar bith Ba mhaith liom a bheith le chéile Le do thoil Taispeánfaidh me an grá duit Ar mhaith leat fear sneachta a dhéanamh?