One winter morning I was taking a walk in a nearby forest on the east coast of America, where many Irish settlers lived. That morning there had been a fresh coat of fluffy snow on all the trees and bushes. I came to a clearing when all of a sudden one tree, in particular, caught my attention. I felt a strange pull towards it which became stronger and stronger as I got closer. It was an amazingly beautiful tree. It looked like it was covered in icing sugar.
When I got close to the tree, I felt something I had never felt before. The tree was calling my name in an ancient language. “Brianna, tar níos gaire agus déan teagmháil liom, Crann Bethadh. Tá do chinniúint ag fanacht!” I understood it as if it was in English. “Brianna, come closer and touch me, Crann Bethadh. Your destiny awaits!” All this seemed strange to me, but how did the tree know my name and how could I understand it?
All I know is that I couldn’t help myself. I walked closer and I looked around the tree. I found a knot in its bark and as I touched it, I felt the wind knocked out of me and everything went black. When I came to, I felt the warmth of someone’s hands as they tried to warm my hands. His voice was soothing even if I couldn’t make out anything, he said yet, but there was more. I felt safe, even though I didn’t know who he was, it felt like I knew him, almost as if a part of me was found within him. When I opened my eyes, he was looking at me with a worried look in his eyes, and as he saw my eyes open his expression eased.
I looked around suddenly and we were both under what seemed like the same tree or was it? It looked similar, but it was much older, and the surroundings were different. I looked at him again and asked, “Who are you and where are we?”
He smiled at me and in a beautiful Irish accent said: “My name is Liam, and we are near Clogheen in Tipperary”. "We are where? That’s not in the United States of America," I exclaimed. He could tell from my accent that’s where I was from. I stated, “I was standing next to a tree just like this one, but much younger and much smaller. When I touched the knot” as I pointed to a knot just like the one I touched, “all went black and now I am here”.
Liam said “I'm glad that you are safe and please let me help you up. I'd like to invite you to my home for tea. You look like you need something to warm you up a little. What is your name?” I blinked, looked at him and answered, “My name is Brianna and thank you for your kind offer, but before we go please tell me what you were doing here by this beautiful snow-covered tree?”
Liam blushed at my question as he answered, “I have come here to Crann Bethadh every day now for the past year, to ask the spirit of' the sacred Celtic tree of life and the old Celtic gods to help unite me with my true flame, lifemate, or twin soul. There are different names for it.” What Liam said hit me like a ton of bricks, as I too had wished for the same thing on my walks in the forest back home each day for a year as well if not longer. I had never noticed the beautiful snow-covered tree before today, come to think of it.
The entire time, we had been walking and talking about the tree, what had happened, and soon we were at his doorstep. He opened the door and let me in. He said. “Please make yourself at home. I wish you to be comfortable.” I asked, “You live alone?” Liam answered, “Yes, I do. I have had a lot of bad luck in the past with women. You see, I am not sure about things where you come from, but here many of the women only date a man that’ll shower them with expensive gifts and the minute that I stopped they would leave. I came to realize that all they wanted was my money and that they didn't love me.”
I looked at him in total surprise at his revelation as I thought that was terrible of those women. He looked at my expression and said, “Please come into the kitchen while I make some tea, and tell me, are you also single as I am, and why? You are a very beautiful lady.” That caught me by surprise and as I walked into the kitchen, he was starting to make the tea. He looked at me and being a redhead, I blushed from head to toe. He seemed happy but saddened at my response, “Yes, I’m single and I too have had no luck with men. So far, the men that came into my life all they wanted was to take all they could from me. They were cruel and abusive when they didn’t get what they wanted. So, I decided to take long walks in the forest. I suppose I did the same thing you did and wished that one day I would be united with a man that was worthy of me and I of him.”
Liam then said “I'll not hide this from you, when I was walking towards the tree today and I saw you drop onto the ground from out of the blue, I was worried about you at first as you didn't respond to anything I did. Then I was happy to see that you were and are alright. I found you very beautiful, from the first time I laid eyes on you. I feel like we are connected somehow like we are the same, you and I, like I have known you all my life, there is a trust with you that I have never felt before, as well.” I looked at him and said, “I know what you mean, I think I feel the same way about you.” I blushed again and continued. “I also found you to be very handsome when I first saw you, and your voice, I think I can listen to you for the rest of my life as I love your accent.”
Liam then blushed at my confession and said. “Well, I see that we like the same things about each other, as I too love your accent and your voice is so sweet.” He then brought the tea and some cookies over to the table. “Let's have a small snack before supper and warm you up a little, as you felt rather cold to the touch when I first found you. Your lips were turning blue.” I said, “Thank you for the tea” and we spoke for some time as the hours went by. Everything we spoke about was almost a mirror image of each other, different in some ways, but very alike in others. The time came to make supper and we helped each other. It amazed me how he had the ingredients for a meal that was my favourite. We worked as a team, complementing each other, almost knowing what the other would do next. We ate as we pondered what had happened and how we reacted to each other.
Liam broke the silence first and said. “Brianna, you are welcome to spend the night in my spare bedroom. I promise you'll be safe and nothing will happen that you don't want to happen.” I looked at him, realized how late it was and how I was in a different country with nothing but what I had on my back. “Thank you, Liam, I think I’ll take you up on your offer as I am not even sure where else I could go considering that I just dropped out of the sky just hours ago. I also think that I will have to see what my next step will be tomorrow.” After we cleaned the kitchen and were finally ready to go to bed, Liam said, “You'll find some of my sister's clothes in the bedroom.” He blushed “Brianna I have something that I wish you to consider while you sleep. Now that I have found you, I hesitate to let you go. I would appreciate it if you gave us a chance at a life together, as I feel more than love for you.” I answered, “I am in complete agreement, but let’s take it slow to not mess anything up.” He agreed.
The next morning we went to visit Crann Bethadh, the sacred Celtic tree of life that brought me there, turned it into a daily devotion and so our new life together began…