I remember when I first arrived on this message board, some 4,300 posts ago, and trying to get the lay of the land. I found gentleness and intelligence and support, but at first I didn't find any of those things in Piastra, who back then was known as Carragh.
And then one day I was chatting with some friends I don't often see anymore, and we were discussing something or other that we didn't understand, and I said, half jokingly, "I'll PM Carragh and ask her!"
My plan was met with utter shock. "You're going to do what???
She'll kill you! She'll eat you alive!
Well, I knew I was taking a risk, but after such a juicy reaction to my plan, I couldn't back down. And so I contacted Carragh and asked her my question, and I got back much, much more than a simple answer: I got a friend.
Chalci, Carragh, Piastra, Pepper, friend. By whatever name you knew her, she could be a handful, but you knew you had something that was real. Piastra was the fire element. You could feel her burn easily enough, but the more you explore that element, the more you learn about its different aspects -- about how it warms the soil and nurtures the seeds that grow. To know Piastra was to know passion.
Piastra never did anything in half measures, and to die in the month of Samhuinn would be just as she wanted it. We'd talked about death on a couple of occasions, as she'd been quite ill for a long time. I was alarmed by some of her words -- by just how ready she seemed to die. She was not one to tiptoe up to the veil, lift one corner a little and peer into the Otherworld before gingerly stepping across. No, Piastra, I'm sure, marched right up to the veil, tore it asunder and stepped boldly through. She's with her beloved Aunties now, and our loss is their gain.
Goodbye for now, my friend. I'll see you next Samhuinn and for as many others as I have in this life. And when it's my time to step across, may I follow your example and do so without fear, but with panache!