Galloway – In The Time Before Time

In the time before time, there lived a clan known as  Rioghachd na h-Alba, the lost ones.  They wandered the hills and valleys always searching for the never-ending waters that would come to known as Galway  Bay. Their small clan drew nourishment from the beasts of the fields, roots and herbs growing wild and abundant.

A leader, named Aillil the Rock, emerged ending his days of roaming the endless hills and valleys as a hunter and gather for the clan. Aillil the Rock standing upon a great stone hill gazed down upon the cliffs below onto the never-ending waters below. He declared it be known forever and always as Galway Bay, the beginning of time for the clan.

Aillil called upon Tavish, the beloved, to seek blessings, prosperity upon the sea, the land as far as the eye could see, and the legs of the clan members could walk. Aillil, a grand specimen of a male mated with a woman of beauty, Cathella , meaning red flowing hair. Her eyes green as the grass on a distant field with flicks of crystal blue like the waters below Galway Bay. Her body so lovely she moved as though a soft breeze upon a summer morn.

It was Aillil she choose as her mate and proud she was to do it. The very smell of him enchanted her.  Tavish, the beloved by the Sun God blessed their union placing a circle of tightly woven flowers upon her head to seal their bond. The celebration of their union lasted late into the night. Seeking to be alone, just before dawn, they left the clan still making merry among the rugged rocks above the never-ending waters. Unable to contain their emotions Cathella and Aillil began running among the rolling hills away from Galway Bay disrobing as they ran. They wrapped their naked breathless bodies together mingling between lust and love, in the low land where the tall grass grew. It was there they were as one forever and always.

Boyd, the blond haired one, had joined the clan bringing with him a wolf he called Mungo.  Aillil was weary of this other, not of their kind. He was a tower of a man with hair like the mane of a horse’s tail. Now here alone with his Cathella having planted his seed deep into her womb he was no longer in fear that Boyd would steal her away from him.

Boyd knew things beyond the understanding of the clan, even beyond the understanding of Tavish, the beloved of the Sun God. Tavish offered up gifts and chants to the Sun God. Boyd could speak directly to not the Sun God but to God. Boyd had followed the wondering souls of the clan singling out Aillil and secretly granting him the idea of finding a land to plant the wandering feet of the clan upon above the never-ending waters of Galway Bay.

The land and the sea offered up its bounty as Boyd continued his long slow process of teaching Aillil and the other male members of the clan how to build, first the straw huts, then the baking of cut sod into bricks to build their first cottages. Aillil worked hard and learned much. He and his Cathella were happy but she was barren and a great sadness fell upon Aillil, for there was no child at his hearth. In the passing of time and no heir for Aillil he began to take refuge among the caves seeking to be alone. His body became weak for the lack of food and his spirit tormented.

His Cathella wondered the hills and valleys alone and far away from their Galway home. Finally, she found her beloved Aillil. He was thin and worn with a sickness of the heart and head.

“I want a house of stone built, Aillil. It is there I will live with thee. I will not live in a stone cave in the dark of night, damp and sick of heart with you. Build me a castle made of stone, tall, big with many rooms and unto this new God we shall pray to swell my barren womb, she said to Aillil.”

Aillil placed his hand in hers and together they made their way back to their home on Galway Bay. Aillil rested and Cathella nourished his body with food shared by the clan. She nurtured his soul and in time, he regained both his strength and spirit.

In the silence of the night as the clan slept, Boyd placed his hand upon Aillil’s head and filled him with knowledge he alone knew so that Aillil could build his beautiful Cathella not a house but a castle made of much more than stone.

He placed his hand on the slender belly of Cathella. “Your first born you will name Anillea and all generations to follow will hold her name even unto the time after time for it was you Cathella whom choose to see beyond the misery and restore the soul of Aillil the Rock.”

In the morning when they woke the clan told them Boyd was no more. He had left before dawn, as the stars were glisting over Galway Bay.

Boyd left the clan one last gift.  “Tis called the Stout and you drink it”, said Tavish, to make us known as the IRISH, the people of grand stories, songs and laughter.


Arlene Switzer Flynn
Arlene Switzer Flynn
ARLENE retired from a long and extraordinary career in real estate, both residential and commercial, followed by ownership of her own mortgage broker company. She is a member of Who’s Who for Executives and Professionals in America. She returned to her ‘”forest” with thoughts of retirement, and a new love entered her life – writing. Her first novel “Buzzard’s Glory” hit the market running, and the sequel is hot on its trail. She also writes short stories of humor, old sage advice and inspiration.

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    • A priceless comment from you Larry. You know how very much I admire your own writing abilities. WOO HOO