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A Cold North Wind

A Cold North Wind by Brenda Roberts
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A triad of female warriors bound together as a family, committed in union to one another and to the two males who are staying at home in their village. This is the tale of their adventures; their training and bonding while becoming the personal staff of the Empress of their Motherland.
SynergEbooks; February 2005
85 pages; ISBN 9781931540216
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Title: A Cold North Wind
Author: Brenda Roberts
Chapter 1

Thunder shook the house, hard enough to wake the proverbial dead. I opened my eyes and thought, *What kind of an omen is this?* The day of a sacred joining. Today two people who love each other deeply are to stand before the community and speak the words that will magically bind them together "for as long as love lasts".

Tossing back the furs on my bed, I climbed naked into the frigid air, so cold that the shock of it took my breath away. My chest felt as if it would refuse to let my heart continue to beat. Where was the warmth of the previous day?

The Gods of the North seemed to speak the winds of objection upon this union. I quickly stepped into the ceremonial robes of my office. As the Priestess and medicine woman of this tribe, it was my job to do the joining. I was to visit the homes of both and ask the rote question, "Why have you chosen this path?" and others. Then, as the day reaches its crest, the chosen ones were to meet me in the sacred cave, and from there were to walk together to the center of the communal gathering.

As I approached the home of the intended bride, I heard angry words. Someone's heart was as cold as this north wind. This was not a good way to begin. The elder male of Sonia's family yelled that her choice would break her mother's heart.

I heard Sonia's voice trembling, in tears, saying, "How can this be a bad thing to love someone so deeply?"

I waited outside. It would not have done for me to formally witness the disagreement. I stood, shivering, trying to hide from the frigid wind. I made some loud noises to let them know I had arrived. Finally, someone near the opening heard me and shushed the angry voices, and Sonia came teary-eyed to invite me in.

We did the formal questions. Sonia had all of the correct responses. Her heart seemed to be ready for the joining. I left her to go to her promised mates.

As I left I heard Sonia's mother say, "If this is love, I think I'll take the heart attack."

The omens seemed overpowering. This joining would be a difficult one. And for once, I agreed that if the love of this family is the measure to judge by, I think, I too, would have preferred a heart attack.

Chapter 2

The icy wind continued to blow as I stepped away from Sonia's home and headed to her promised. The moisture in the air sent weapons of ice to slice away at the exposed parts of my being. My trance had begun, and I could tune out the weather to listen to the voices inside. The Goddess promised that the joining will be blessed, even for all the omens of opposition. At the home of Chrysla, the temperature was warm. The door was open, and a formal greeting was waiting as I arrived. Chrysla stepped forward with a warm tea of chamomile and mint. She greeted me with open arms and a wide smile. "We welcome you to our home and our hearts." "With hearty thanks I accept your hospitality. Are you at peace with this decision?" "I have chosen this path with trust, love and longing. I am at peace." "You are aware that there are others who are not at peace with your joining?" "I am aware. Sonia and I must go where this path takes us, and follow the steps of our Goddess." "Have you chosen a male?" "Sonia and I chose together – our males will be Benath and Conor." "Your males are in agreement?" "They are. They will meet us at the entrance to the sacred cave." "I leave you to prepare." I walked slowly toward the entrance of the sacred cave of our people, and wondered at the changes that had occurred. My musings traveled to the long distant past, when it was unheard of for a couple to choose males together. Males were usually selected after the joined pair won their places as warriors. Once the joining had occurred, the couple would live, love, and breed together as a family. It was rare, in this day, that young women chose the path of the warrior. Theirs was a hard life. They would have one house together here in the community and would travel the country as directed by the leader of the warriors. The warriors had common houses in all the large cities in the Motherland, but their males would stay home and tend to their herds, raise their male children, and the female children would be placed in homes with their mother's families until they reached the age of five, and then be placed in foster homes by the joined couple. The acrid smoke of the sacred fire recalled me to the present and I slipped the robes of ceremony off as I climbed into the heated pool within the cave. My attendants waited upon me with herbs and ointments as I ritually cleansed myself of the present day and allowed the entrance of the Goddess. As her Avatar, I would conduct the joining. I heard the distant singing as the community prepared the feast of blessing, and I stepped from my bath, a different being than when I entered it. The wholeness of Goddess-God was within me and I glowed with the aura. The robe of mixed furs, representing all worlds and closed with the talons and teeth of predatory animals, was placed upon me. I took to the warriors the blessings of all our worlds – animal, bird, fish and two-legged beings. When I walked through the entryway, Sonia and Chrysla awaited dressed in the skin of the spotted cat and bear. Their faces were painted by my attendants with the symbols of our Goddess and God, and we turned to walk the short path to the center. Sonia's family was there, tears still evident upon their faces in the glistening of ice created by the cold north wind. Chrysla's family smiled and nodded their welcome to Sonia. Sonia was fostered by Chrysla's Grandmother's male. I opened my mouth to begin, but the words froze in the air. Approaching the ceremony were the head of the Warriors and the Empress of the Motherland, together, in full ceremonial attire. They came to stand with the joining pair. Never before, to my knowledge, had this happened. It was enough to take my breath away!
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