Chapter One - Dedication
To a wonderfully loving father, who cares for me dearly. It is a promise to him that I will write daily upon this Book of Shadows, in which I will record all my practices and thoughts alike.
March 20th, Year of Our Lord 1640
Father is so kind to have given me this collection of parchments on this 15th birthday of mine, for he knows my absolute adornment for writing. It is very rare for lasses to even know how to write, but Father has taught me since I was a year old. He values my kindness and intelligence more than any other trait I may possess. It is my specialty, he once told me; every kin from his side of the family has a specialty, be it healing, brewing, farming or flirting. Cousin Evangeline has this way of batting her beautiful eye lashes at young lads and getting them to do whatever she asks. I rather think the lad's silly to fall head over heel over Cousin Evangeline, she’s already got a sweetheart up in the north of Essex. Poor lads, they’ll be so disappointed once they know.
Of the entire family, I favor Aunt Laura the most (other than Father and Mother of course). Not only has she the most handsome face, she’s also gifted by the Lord with the most respected specialties, apothecary and healing. Everyone in the county values her incredible talent, since there are countless lives she saved with her magical potions and herbs. She also has this way of healing people by the touch, but rarely does she use it. It is said to be too energy consuming and dangerous for Aunt Laura, that she will be persecuted if anyone found out. I don’t see why this is since Aunt Laura uses her gifts with wisdom and kindness.
There was an angelic grace about her. The last time I saw her heal a dying child by touch, and although it was eight years ago and I was a wee lass, it was something so powerful that it imprinted in my heart. The very sick child of the builder from a neighboring village, whose sunken pale face, whose body almost devoid of breath, suddenly glowed with a soft blue light upon the touch of Aunt Laura’s long and slender hand, and when the light faded, he was once again his normal healthy self, with no signs of any illness! Of course, Aunt Laura had to be helped away to rest, for she has fallen with the child’s illness and needs a day or two to recover from it, but she has done a very noble thing. To save a life under the consequence of suffering pain, I cannot see why anyone would think her anyone else but an angel sent by the Lord.
I hear Father calling me. It must be that lad Father wanted me to meet. I honestly cannot say whether I should be joyful or grim. It must be another possible marriage. Well, farewell for now dear parchment. I will no doubt have an amusing story when I return…