If one opens their mind far enough, scenes of the past can be envisioned.
In especially ancient places, such as the grass-covered ruins called Jarlshof near the village of Sumburgh on the southern tip of mainland Shetland, these visions seem to swirl about a willing person like moths to the flame. Jarlshof had been inhabited by one group or another for over four thousand years, so there are innumerable scenarios that people can find themselves pulled into, if one's mind is allowed to go in such directions.
Around the tall round broch are several other structures, also often roundish and likely so shaped to accommodate the relentless winds that still wipe the surface of Shetland clean to this day. Everything is under the ground these days, swallowed up by time and deposit, but it was a vibrant and living place up until only a few hundred years ago and if you curious readers would allow, you could find yourself lost in the midst of the lives and doings of the people who lived there.
To our eyes, the days and weeks and years of countless residents might have seemed an endless and somewhat monotonous string of hard labor in pulling the essentials of life from such a remote and seemingly inhospitable place. It looks stark enough now and though interesting to tour these days, I would imagine most visitors are quite glad to board some tour bus afterwards, get back to Lerwick, and find some comfortable bath or other luxury for the evening. For myself, I can imagine a time when, after a hard day's labor in the field or at the net, the dezins of Jarlshof would come home to enjoy the things that they saw as luxurious. Perhaps it was a comfortable chair by a fragrant fire fed by peat hauled down from the highlands or a pleasant evening spent gaming and drinking among friends in the secure broch.
I am impressed with the people of the islands of Shetland, both in the past and in the present. To find people in such a remote place is impressive and to think that, for some thousands of years, they chose and still choose to remain there is even more impressive. There is evidence of a lively trade between the iron-age smithy of Jarlshof and the tin mines of Cornwall, for instance, as well as many reasonably accurate maps of the Romans and other seafarers from the Mediterranean that show not just legends of Shetland and their people, but visits made to those shores and surveys done in-situ. Any unhappy Shetlander could have easily jumped aboard a visiting ship and let themselves be taken to more sunny and southerly shores but there has yet to be some massive emigration that abandoned the place. It may seem incredible to many, but apparently some thousands of people actually like it on the islands and despite millenia of opportunity to leave, they chose not to.
What a gloriously and consciously relentless people. May I say that they are worthy of some emulation.
I can also put myself in the shoes of you wonderful readers and imagine that you are already weary enough with all the references to God's intervention in the lives of Mulls and Daavor. I would not be surprised in the least if any number of you were saying "Enough already! I get it!" and hoping that I would just give any further writing of God a miss. I likely would if it were in any way possible.
I have already revealed that it is Mullicynda and Daavor who are major characters in this story, which we are really just still beginning and that will extend into probably two more books. If you observant readers had not noticed previously, God Himself is likely the most prominent character of all in these proceedings and is the thread that ties the entirety of the story together; an entirety that you readers have yet to scratch the surface. I will shortly make a somewhat pompous statement that, in a small way, compares this story to the Holy Bible and I can only defend that comparison preemptively by saying that God is the subject that also ties together the lives and stories in that volume. Beyond Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Job, Isaiah, Peter, James, and John, the Bible is the story of God and his dealings with people. Beyond Mullicynda and Coryn, Daavor, Symantha, and a host of others that will be introduced later on, this story of Navigiary is a story about God and his dealings with them. I would stop pointing these things out, but how can one do it if God Himself is the central character of the tale?
If there is anything to learn from reading this story, I would hope that you readers would see that God loves his children, who are all of us. Though we are only at this point exploring the realms of inspiration and what could be called a "gentle nudging" at this point, God's influence and demands upon our characters will expand as the story progresses because, as is always the case, once one puts their lot in with God, one can hardly avoid His continued attention. It seems that if you are willing to walk a few yards with God, He will continue at your side for a hundred miles. If you acknowledge your place as His child and display even a small willingness to honor Him, He will rain down blessings on you, most often as inspirations and risings of the small hairs on the back of the neck that can change our lives in unforeseen and amazing ways. You readers will likely find, as I have, that God can be positively relentless.
Just as much as God and I and the noble Shetlanders over the years are relentlessly about our labors, I trust that you readers will display enough of the same attribute to soldier on through the seemingly endless mention of God and his relentless interventions. In the end, those interventions are the story.