Daylight is disappearing. Colours are blending into shades of grey. The water of the lake is still and peaceful. The swan glides gracefully across the still water making ripples that fan on either side. Her white body stands out against the grey water. The moon emerges from behind cloud and then disappears.
Alone With The Swan
The children have left and Patrick sits alone on the shore of the Vanishing Lake. In this place, where everything begins and ends, he watches the moon appear and disappear as it is reflected in the lake's calm water. He is intrigued at the prospect of escaping to a new and different future.
"What will my future hold? Where will it take me?" he ponders.
His mind gradually turns from contemplating his future to remembering his past – the years he spent herding sheep on Slieve Miss. He remembers his capture, the rough boat trip and his enslavement.
"Those were tough times," he thinks. "My life appeared meaningless then."
He reflects on his life as a slave and feels it was an interesting life with many happy memories, the friendship with Conchubhar and his family, meeting the Druid, finding the buried treasure and the many good times he had with the forest children and his dog T ir.
Lifting his eyes he gazes at the swan floating silently in the centre of the lake. The moon comes into view and in the increased brightness he thinks he glimpses light emanating from the swan. Then the moon disappears and the moment is gone.
"It cannot be," he thinks to himself. "I must be imagining things."
As Patrick observes, the swan glides closer to the bank where he sits. He senses a familiar question.
"Why are you here?" A deep longing follows this question. "I would love to know what it feels like to fly the way you do."
As he observes the swan he is drawn to think once more about the very different future that awaits. He wonders what it will be like? Patrick makes a decision.
"Whatever my future holds I promise to love others who suffer and to help release them from bondage."
The swan draws nearer. Suddenly his heart opens and he is filled with joy. The joy is so great and so strong that he cannot contain it. He is overcome with a passionate desire to share this joy that has arisen in his breast. He wonders what he can do? How he can start?
Then the joy slowly subsides like a glimpse into another world – a world of passion, freedom and love. He rises to leave the Vanishing Lake and join Meabh at the Br ad River, but he leaves knowing that the time for his mission is at hand.
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