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The May Queen

An extract from my novel Beyond The Two Doors

The tradition of May Day celebrations stretched back several centuries at the Maybury Estate. Every year, the parkland was transformed into a child’s paradise with colourful stalls selling candy-floss, ice-creams, candy sticks and lemonade. A merry-go-round, swing-boat and donkey rides all had queues of children waiting a turn. In the centre of it all, there stood a giant maypole.

In the evening, there was a procession, lit by lanterns, leading to a ring fort where once stood a stone circle. A few stones remained with the rest pilfered long ago. Local folklore said it had been the site of a great battle between the Celts and the Romans. The May Queen resplendent in a golden gown wore a headdress made of newly unfurled leaves. She made her way to the hill fort just before sunset to reclaim her throne from the Old Man of Winter.

Clara arrived just as the pageant was about to begin. Low clouds covered up the evening sun and lanterns lining the path of the procession seemed to glow brighter. A hush descended on the crowd as the May Queen emerged from her horse-drawn carriage. Local children dressed as wood nymphs scattered leaves and petals in her wake. Squeals of delight pierced the hushed atmosphere as young and old alike delighted in the spectacle. The May Queen led the procession to the hill fort as the crowd pressed forward to watch the combat between winter and summer.

The Old Man of Winter emerged like Pan from a copse of trees, dancing around the remaining standing stones, claiming all the seasons for himself. There were gasps from the crowd and children held their breath, hoping the fairy princess would not die. Old Man Winter reached a large wooden throne decorated with garlands just as the May Queen climbed to the top of the fort. A fire eater danced around them, adding to the drama and spectacle. He blew fire above their heads as they locked arms in a battle for the Throne of Summer. A troop of dancers emerged from the copse, breaking into two groups to represent summer and winter. They joined in the mock battle for the throne until finally a crescendo of music saw the Old Man of Winter fall to his knees and renounce the throne. The May Queen took her rightful place on the Throne of Summer amid much applause and shouting. And just as she seated herself on the throne, the setting sun broke through clouds as if nature itself had liberated summer from the grip of winter.

An extract from Chapter 15 of Beyond The Two Doors.

Click on photo for link to bookshelf on Amazon.com

BEYOND THE TWO DOORS

After three years, my novel Beyond The Two Doors is finally published on Amazon. For lovers of history, spirituality and exploration of mind, this book will appeal to you. The book image below is linked to my bookshelf on Amazon.com. The book is also available on Amazon.co.uk and all in all other countries.

Book Cover

Beyond The Two Doors explores the mysteries of life as we follow the story of a man and woman across different timelines. From modern day Britain to post-war Asia, the story takes the reader on a historical journey to the Celts of Britain and Ireland, tracing the roots of the Celtic cultural and spiritual ancestors to an ancient tribe who lived on the Eurasian Steppes.

After leaving her husband, Clara Lewis moves back to Gloucestershire to complete her PhD in archaeology. During her research, she stumbles upon a photograph of a mummy taken by an explorer in the 1940’s during an expedition to the Altay Mountains. Her curiosity about the Jade Mummy and the explorer who found it, takes her on a journey through time where she discovers not only the ancestors of modern day civilisation, but also provides her with a portal into her very life essence.

From the ancient Silk road to the stone circles of the Neolithic, this adventure sweeps through deserts, mountains and plains until it arrives at the very heart of humanity and the quest that underpins our existence. This story will not only take you on a journey through human history, but it will open doors into the invaluable nature of your soul.

Collette O’Mahony

May 2022