The Tale of Lleu, Chapter XII: Beltane
And so the Wheel turns, my friends.
Come, let me tell you a story with no beginning and no end.
Long have I been telling this tale, and long yet might I go on telling, if you would do me the honor of hearing it, for the Tale of Lleu is the tale of the dance of Earth and Sun and Moon, and its reflections echo in the tale of each of our own lives.
I tell you the story of a Once and Future King, Thriceborn Lord of the Sun and King of Gwynedd, the Lion of Summer, consort of Blodeuwedd, and son of Gwydion and Arianrhod.
It is a tale of trickery, and adversity, and destiny; it is a tale of desire, and betrayal, and death; it is a tale of love, and rebirth, and self-determination. It is a tale, ultimately, of transformation, as we ourselves transform from day to day, throughout our lives and lives to come.
Listen, my friends, for this is the last of the story you shall hear from my tired old tongue.
When the little grey wren disappeared, Lleu returned to his castle at Ardudwy, and he ruled both justly and fairly. Many seasons had passed, and many lessons he had learned, since last he sat upon that throne. He gave the land its due honor, and the kingdom of Gwynedd had never before seen such a period of prosperity. Many boons did he bestow upon his people, and he was well-loved for his graciousness.
The ice of winter had retreated, and the frozen wind gave way to warmth and growth, though not a single bloom was yet upon the branches.
One day, as he was wont to do, Lleu Llaw Gyffes was traveling the lands of Gwynedd and Powys, honoring the land and sea that sustained his people at each sun rise and set, and honoring the moon of his Mother in its path across the starlit sky.
Near a sacred grove at dawn, he heard the cry of an owl, and looking skyward, he saw its flight. A single feather drifted down through the spring air, and Lleu’s outstretched and clever hand caught it deftly as it fell.
Upon his palm, lay not the feather, but a single flower of the hawthorn.
The owl was gone. The May had come.
An eruption of colored blooms upon the trees heralded the coming Summer.
This is the end of my telling, but the end of my tale is ever a new beginning.
Praise be to the Queen of the May and the Sun whose rays are all ablaze!