Stories tell us so much. They tell us how the day begins and where the sun goes when the night creeps across the land. They tell us what the animals are and where they hide, out in the mystery of this world. Stories told me of the mists and how, one morning she would be there waiting for me.
The stories did not tell me her name, but then the gods do not use the human names we give them. That I was to be the one, I never doubted when I heard the stories of how the goddess would appear out of the morning mist to take her chosen one.
Without their mortal lovers the gods, the stories say, lose touch with this land, without a mortal lover the gods become distant, unknowable and unknowing. Their realm is not this mortal realm and it is part of the compact made in the old stories.
The stories used to tell, back in the Dark Times, that the people made sacrifices to the gods. Virgins offered to the gods in death to make sure the gods did not desert us. But, over time, and the time in stories in never that precise or accurate, this changed.
Then, the stories say, the gods would come, sometime in the shapes of animals, clouds or other natural forms. Sometimes they came even in the shape of humans, to take their lovers, steal them away through deceit and trickery.
Now, though, we live in other times and the gods will come, looking almost as human as the rest of us, to take a lover by the hand and take them back into the mists.
There are stories too, of what happens when a god comes and takes someone’s hand. No-one knows for sure though, because no-one has ever returned. We presume and speculate, but no-one knows. Perhaps the lovers do not grow old and die as we left behind do. But why then, if that is the case do the gods return to take another lover?
We presume even the gods themselves cannot prevent mortal death, even though they live lives – so the stories tell us – beyond what we could ever imagine.
As I said, I knew from the first time I heard the stories, that one day the goddess would come for me. I knew it would be the goddess of love, not the goddess of night or the cruel cold goddess of winter, who would come for me.
So, when, that morning she came for me out of the mists of the stories, I was waiting, ready to go with her.