How ironic that Piastra died on Election Day in the United States. I can't say that I know how she would have voted, and my purpose in bringing this up is not to do any electioneering, but to acknowledge the fact that this was a woman who was all about doing your duty, whether it be personal, spiritual, civic or otherwise, and I have no doubt that if she were alive today, she'd have done her duty and would have been exhorting others to do so as well!
When I first arrived on this board, Piastra was a presence;
the truth of the matter is that she scared me to death! To run afoul of Piastra -- or Carragh as she was known in those days -- was something you definitely didn't want to do! She had a power that could travel across thousands of miles of real estate and explode electronically on a computer screen anywhere in the world, and along with that power was an air of mystery and deep druidic wisdom.
I remember when, as a new Bard, I was feeling a little strange one night and, in a moment of sheer lunacy, decided to send a PM to this frightening woman and ask her what she thought. A couple of my friends told me at the time that I was insane for taking the risk. "She''ll roast you alive," is what one of them said, and part of me didn't doubt it. But what I got back was a well-reasoned reply about the lifting of the veil at Samhuinn, and that since I was new to a pagan path, I probably was opening myself up to powers and influences to which I had been previously unaware.
The Dragon Lady didn't bite me, and I enjoyed many exchanges with her, each an occasion for me to broaden my own horizons and marvel at the power in her words and deeds. It was something else she taught me: Sometimes risk bears great rewards.
Unlike some others, I never received anything material from Piastra, though she told me once about a few of the things she'd collected for me. She was always going to mail them "some day," but I knew she was very sick and without a lot of money, and that day never came. But life is so much more than that, and what Piastra gave me can never be taken away, because it lives in my heart forever.
The veil has lifted and lowered again for another cycle, but now I am well accustomed to those strange feelings that occur around this time of year. Piastra lives, but on the other side now, subject to the same laws that will bind us all to that place when our time has come. How gentle is our path that it allows us once a year to be in the presence of those friends and family who have departed this world for another.
Piastra, I thank you for all you gave me, and hey, I'll see you again around this time next year!