Sitting on the side of a low, emerald hill is a small encampment. The morning is cool and overcast, and around the camp are many small yurt-like tents. Among them, horses feed nervously on the fresh, green grass, occasionally looking up with a snort, and stirring at the movements of the humans who walk about the camp. Fires are burning, and around them men break their fast, talking about what will happen this day. Women tend to the fires and the cooking of the morning’s meal, partaking in the discussion as they finish their work and take seats among the men.
I am a young woman, an older girl, and I am responsible for the children. They are gathered around me, asking questions, they sense the tension in the adults, but before I can answer they have distracted themselves with play, rolling in the grass with each other and giggling at the sky. I am nervous, today is the day, the day when our people attempt to make peace with those who have come to our land from across the sea. It’s been many years since the invaders landed on our shores, and there has been no peace in our land for some time. We have been fighting to defend our clans and their ancestral lands, but our people are weary, and our numbers have grown thin.
I stand before one of the tents with the children, while a brisk wind tugs at the flap of fabric pulled aside from the entrance of the tent, revealing glimpses of the interior. Inside, a tall, slender, fair haired woman prepares herself in front of a mirror. There are trunks, a wardrobe, and a low bed covered with clothes and the remnants of preparation. She straightens her dress and attends to her hair as she converses in low tones with several men standing around her. There is concern on the faces of the men, the discussion is serious and solemn, their gestures tense and disapproving. She wears a calmness and grace born from years of leading her people through the trials that have come to our land. She is the matriarch of our clan, a leader of warriors, and a queen among queens, and she is resolute in the decision she has made.
As I watch, she concludes her preparations and conversation with the men inside, and they emerge from the tent into the brisk morning air. Horses that have been in waiting are brought up, and as they mount their steeds the contingent of riders utter words of instruction to those standing around them. They then ride up and over the hill, disappearing into the green sea of blowing grass. As we watch the riders depart, a sense of fear fills my chest. This will be the last time we see our queen, the riders will not return. Those with whom she meets will murder the party, uninterested in peace, and the offer of truce they carry. I, with the others who remained behind in our camp, take the children and melt into the countryside, seeking refuge in the surrounding villages. The old ways are no more, the conquerors have won, and a new way of life has taken its place.
I don’t know the time period, which people they were, or the exact place it happened. My brain has attempted to fill in details, but these are just thoughts. All I know for sure is that they were European, members of the White race of the North, people of Fire. I don’t know who the invaders were who came to that land, Romans, or Normans, perhaps the men of William the Bastard, but I do know their legacy lives on today in the brutal rule exerted and extended over the whole of the world. In this life, or the next, or in a thousand lifetimes, I will live to see this damage undone, and those who have wrought their misery on us all will come to justice, once and for all.
We are a collection of experiences that shape us and mold us into individual souls moving through time. Some of us are young, new souls, just setting out, others are old, and have been here a long time. I’ve been here before, how many times I don’t know. What I do know is that I chose the body that I wear in this life, and I came out here with a purpose. That purpose is nothing short of changing the world, but then, that’s what each and every one of us does every single day, whether we know it or not. The question is, do you realize your power, and are you ready to step into it?