Alone in the kitchen, Aisling started washing and rinsing the dishes. The day-to-day chores of the hostel had become meditative for her, a way to distance her mind from the world, letting the task at hand be both conduit and barrier. As the youngest Awen of Ireland in centuries, and the first with no prior Awen to directly guide or mentor her, Aisling had used these times to find her way. Some would call me a seer, Aisling thought. Some—especially the Californians—seem partial to that word “shaman.”
She thought back to Jake Connemara standing before her, and regretted that it hadn’t been her grandmother. Then she pulled herself back to the present and recited the oath that had sealed her role and fate:
“The world was the world and I was I. From now on, the world is I, and I am the world. I inspire, I guide, I protect. None will see my hand in events or know my mind. I unite the four, guard the three, and speak for the one. As long as the world dreams and breathes, I am its voice. From now until my death, I swear to be the Awen of Ireland and the world.”
Awen. Connemara had told her that technically the word was Welsh and the Irish equivalent would have been “ai.” Not even Grandmother had known how the title had been decided on. Connemara thought it an accident. Grandmother thought someone just figured “Awen” sounded better.
No matter the word, Aisling saw the effect. Sometimes people came to the hostel, devoid of excitement, empty of a love of life. After having a conversation and a cuppa tea with her—and there was always conversation and tea, or something stronger in particularly difficult cases—people moved on from Clifden ready to take on the world. Some stayed in touch, not that it mattered. One way or another, Aisling always knew what came of those who drank inspiration from the Awen of Ireland.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish